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Artificial Intelligence Transformation Report

Felipe SilbersteinSeptember 08, 2021

The growth of artificial intelligence (AI) is a global wave, sweeping across many nations as investments into new technologies increase. The U.S. currently leads the way, but AI sectors in China, Western Europe, India, Japan, and Singapore are also rapidly growing as everyone races to compete. The demand for workers who can develop AI technology is increasing as are the effects of AI on workers around the world.

In partnership with Fractl, we recently spoke to over 1,000 people in the United States to explore the growth of AI and its impact on industries and workers. Are people concerned about employment as AI transforms jobs across many sectors? Do workers in the U.S. think they have what it takes to adapt and learn the technical skills needed to work with AI? Find out the answers to these probing questions and more as we share insights into the relationship between AI and workers today.

Artificial Intelligence
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Key Takeaways

  • The number of AI-related jobs in the U.S. has increased by 21% in the past 10 years, with the average annual salary increasing by 27%.
  • More than 1 in 4 people in professional and information services industries anticipate AI disrupting their workplaces within five years.
  • 47% of millennials said they were very likely to consider learning skills directly related to AI in the near future, the most of any generation.

The Growth of AI Jobs in the U.S.

With 90% of leading businesses invested in AI, it’s not a question of if new AI technologies will affect our lives both in and out of the workplace, but when. Half of these businesses have also already implemented some kind of AI tech to increase productivity.

Over the past decade, the U.S. has seen a 21% increase in the number of AI jobs, plus a 27% increase in AI-related job wages from 2010 to 2020. Top AI job earners make $200,000+ per year and include occupations within the following sectors:

  • Temporary help services
  • Telecommunications
  • Wholesale trade
  • Employment services
  • Information services
A1 a-Number of AI jobs over time

Other top AI wage earners with an average salary of $158,000+ include workers in the following industries:

  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
  • Merchant wholesalers, durable goods
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing
Top mean annual wage, by occupation

According to Indeed, the 10 most in-demand AI jobs in the U.S. – all with a mean salary of $95,000 and above – are:

  • Data scientist
  • Senior software engineer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Software architect
  • Senior data scientist
  • Full-stack developer
  • Principal software engineer
    • Jobs requesting AI or machine-learning skills are expected to increase by 71% in the next five years. Especially high premiums are being offered to workers with natural language processing (NLP) and neural network skills. There is also a demand for workers experienced with TensorFlow and/or RStudio.

The Influence of AI on Jobs and Industries

Many people in the U.S. are worried about the integration of AI in the workplace: 54% of respondents were either moderately or very concerned that AI would negatively disrupt their job. Employees in production industries were the most concerned group of all. We also found that respondents’ opinions on this subject varied greatly depending on their level of education.

A2 b-How long before Ai has a large impact on your industry

Workers without a college education were almost twice as likely as those who held at least a bachelor’s degree to believe that AI will decrease job opportunities. Meanwhile, workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher were more than twice as likely to believe that AI will create more jobs in the future. Our study also showed that approximately 43% of folks in the U.S. across multiple industries thought that AI would make a big impact on jobs in the next three to five years.

How concerned are you about AI negatively disrupting your job?

Over 50% of people in the U.S. believed AI would increase jobs, and they may be correct. A new report by the World Economic Forum predicts that AI could result in a net increase of 58 million jobs.

A2 a-Perception of the impact of AI on the amount of IT jobs.

An Urgent Need for AI Tech Skills

The AI revolution is here, and already there are reports of a talent shortage within the industry. More than half of current AI professionals recently reported that a skills gap exists in the recruitment of new scientists. The current talent crisis shows that the AI industry desperately needs skilled workers, and they will need even more as AI continues to grow and further integrate into the workplace.

A3 a-Willingness to learn technical skills related to work with AI

The majority of people in the U.S. are willing to consider learning new technical skills related to working with AI in the future. In fact, only 5% flat-out refused the idea. Most people also cited the top skills to learn as machine learning, robotics, and natural language processing.

The rising generation of students would do well to learn AI tech skills, especially if they show an aptitude for math, science, or computers. Over 60% of parents agreed that they would ensure their kids learned the tech skills required to work with AI, which is important if they want them to have a fighting chance at gaining top employment opportunities in the future. The AI Education Project believes that half of today’s jobs may soon be automated and that every student should learn about artificial intelligence.

A3 b-Most important skills related to AI

Reaching AI Singularity

The singularity is a hypothetical idea that AI will at some point transcend human intelligence, becoming self-aware and out of our control. Humanity will descend into chaos as the Earth meets an apocalyptic end. Sounds like a good sci-fi movie for a Friday night, right?

We checked in with people in the U.S. to see how they felt about the singularity. Most people reported being somewhat or not at all concerned about a future singularity event, while 34% reported feeling very concerned. College-educated workers were also almost twice as likely to be very concerned, compared to those without a degree.

A3 c-Conercn about singularity

The truth is there are many theories about the singularity and what could possibly happen. The only thing that most scientists and philosophers agree on is that the turning point will happen when we witness the first emergence of superintelligence.

Jobs for Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists are doing some of the most innovative AI work. They conduct research into computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. They also develop solutions for computer hardware and software problems. Potential computer and information research scientist careers include the following:

  • AI research engineer
  • Optimization research scientist
  • Robotics research engineer
  • Research coordinator
  • Head of AI
    • Another speciality within the computer scientist field is programming. Research scientists design new programming languages and improve the efficiency of existing languages. They can also study the development and application of robotics for use in the real world.

A4-Top paying states for AI research jobs

The typical education level needed for a career in computer research is a master’s degree, and the average wage is currently $126,830. Top-paying AI research jobs ($137,000+) are found in California, Virginia, Washington, New York, and Oregon. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that computer and information research scientist jobs will increase by 15% by 2029, which is much faster than the average job growth rate.

The Future of AI in the Workplace

The creation and use of AI is expected to increase as we make our way into the future. It’s important for current employees to be willing to adapt to new technology and to take AI training in stride. There’s an urgent need for people with AI skills as businesses modernize their operations to improve productivity and profits across multiple industries.

At Reign, we are the kings and queens of ideation, design, and the development of web and mobile applications. Reign is a smart, approachable, tech-savvy international team that works with top companies across many industries. Contact Reign today if you’re interested in starting a project with us or in joining our team of AI professionals. Let’s make something great together.

Methodology and Limitations

We collected 1,028 responses from individuals in the United States using Amazon Mechanical Turk. 62% of our participants identified as men, and 38% identified as women. Participants ranged in age from 19 to 86 with a mean of 37 and a standard deviation of 11. Those who failed an attention-check question were disqualified.

The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration.

Fair Use Statement

Our respondents are employed individuals of different backgrounds who have shared their thoughts about the influence of AI in the workplace. If you know someone who is also looking to learn more about peoples’ sentiments toward AI, you’re welcome to show them the findings of this study; just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page to provide proper credit.

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