- Companies that report a value gain from adopting artificial intelligence recognize that the tech requires an investment in talent, according to a study released by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group's BCG GAMMA and BCG Henderson Institute. Conversely, businesses that house their AI initiatives under the CIO are 50% less likely to see value, the study found.
- An AI talent strategy does best with a multipronged approach, the study said. Successful adopters build internal teams and rely less on outside vendors; selectively import AI talent for technical leadership roles; and upskill their existing workforce on AI.
- "As business leaders develop strategy with AI, talent is a complex problem without simple answers," said the study's co-author Sam Ransbotham in a statement. "The skill sets of the workforce of tomorrow must differ markedly from the skill sets today — not only for the relatively smaller number of workers developing AI solutions but more importantly for the far greater number of workers who will be using AI solutions either directly or indirectly."
Similar results were noted in a 2018 study that found businesses still aren't fully realizing the benefits of AI. It's possible to realize that value, but as the most recent report revealed, HR — specifically talent professionals — must play a key role.
Some employers appear to know this already: Job openings for talent with AI skills rose by 63% between January and September of 2018, according to CompTIA. This increase made AI expertise one of the most in-demand skills, KPMG said in interpreting the data.
"The surging demand for ... AI skillsets means that it’s not easy to identify and hire these resources," Brad Fisher, KPMG partner and U.S. leader of data and analytics and AI, said in a statement discussing the findings. "But the scarcity promises to increase in the coming months and years, so business leaders are best advised to build their team with due haste."
Employers also may need to prepare to pay top dollar for these candidates. AI specialists can command $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in wages and company stock, according to a 2017 New York Times report.