- Tech startups looking for specialists in artificial intelligence (AI) need not look any farther than corporate giants like the General Electric Co. and Google, reports Wired Business.
- GE bought Wise.io, a small machine-learning startup with astrophysicists onboard. GE hasn’t revealed the purchase price. Before the acquisition, Wise.io planned to create AI tools for anyone who wanted to provide machine-learning services. Now that the firm is part of GE, that won’t happen, says Wired. And for small companies looking for AI talent, the hunt just became harder.
- In other big company acquisitions, Twitter now owns Madbits, Apple bought Turi, Intel grabbed Nervana and Whetlab has claimed Magic Pony. When startups open to meet the demand for AI and machine learning, they are often swallowed up by corporate giants who can sustain them, reports Wired.
Small businesses seldom can compete with large corporations for special talent of any kind. Big companies can attract rare or hard-to-find professionals with large salaries, bonuses, innovative benefit packages, stock options and other high-end perquisites. As the massive acquisitions show, small tech companies that want to stay independent are seriously disadvantaged.
This tech industry problem reflects wider trends in the space. Even small tech firms in special niches have trouble competing, meaning some are shifting to more non-traditional ways of maintaining talent pipelines. Hiring part-time contractors is one way that some have tackled the problem head-on.