Battleground for AI talent

Charting the size of AI workforce in Big tech companies


We are back after a brief pause.

Today we are looking at AI (Artificial Intelligence) talent in Big Tech.

You can’t escape the talk of AI these days. It seems like every day something new is happening.

Many think this is a transformational period in the Tech industry, much like the creation of the web browser or the launch of iPhone.

Ever since the launch of ChatGPT, every tech company has been scrambling to launch their products in AI and get into this race.

Just a couple of days ago, Amazon announced its own Generative AI product – Amazon Bedrock.

Like with many things in Tech, talent will play a huge role in which company gets ahead and wins the AI arms race.

So what’s the state of AI talent in Big Tech today?

According to data compiled by a London-based analytical company, there are ~33,000 people working on AI in the 5 Big Tech companies shown in the chart below.

A few things stand out to me from the visual above:

  • Amazon, surprisingly, has the most number of employees working on AI. I would’ve expected Microsoft or Google to be in the lead here.
  • While size of AI workforce shows the seriousness of the company in investing in AI, there are other important considerations (e.g. quality of people, what you choose to work on) – After all OpenAI has been able to take the industry by storm with just a few hundred employees.
  • Microsoft has smartly hedged its bets. While it has a sizeable AI workforce of its own, it has also invested in OpenAI and integrated its product with OpenAI’s tech to make sure it stays ahead of the curve.
  • While all of these are US companies, a significant % of AI employees are outside US. Since AI is also becoming a geopolitical question, it will be interesting to see if the US govt starts putting any restrictions on where AI employees can be located.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! 👋


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