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Vlad Ho started his career as a software engineer and eventually founded his own software agency, but over the past year, the big job opportunity has been freelance work for AI experts. He is not alone. The emergence of generative AI is rapidly reshaping the freelance technology job market, with AI-related job postings from employers and searches among job seekers across professional and freelance platforms, including LinkedIn, Upwork, and Fiverr.
Hu, who works through Fiverr on chatbot implementation projects, said that three years ago, becoming an AI expert required deep knowledge of machine learning algorithms, deep learning for AI in general, and a lot of technical stuff.
According to data from Indeed, AI-related production jobs on its platform increased by approximately 250% from July 2021 to July 2023.
According to LinkedIn — which is owned by Microsoft, a major backer of investment in OpenAI — since the big language model debuted with the public in November 2022, LinkedIn members’ searches for general AI terms continue to grow. Since early April, the number of posts by LinkedIn members in the US mentioning AGI keywords has increased by 25% per month. By June, AI keywords like “ChatGPT,” “agile engineering,” and “agile drafting” were being added to profiles at a rate of 15 times more than at the beginning of the year.
“Many companies are exploring ways to integrate AI into their business platforms and work with skilled freelance developers,” a Fiverr spokeswoman said.
He said companies interested in introducing ChatGPT or a similar AI bot for an application often contact him to understand the technology. Fiverr has also seen significant interest in creating AI-related videos over the past six months, according to the spokeswoman, as well as hiring companies looking for experts in developing AI applications.
Demand for independent AI experts should continue to grow, according to LinkedIn, as a June survey among executives found that 44% in the United States intend to expand their use of AI technologies in the next year; And 47% say they expect this to increase productivity.
“Artificial intelligence is already driving changes in the workforce,” the doctor wrote. Karen Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn, recently a report Which found that just under half of executives say AI will increase productivity. “In the past year, we have witnessed professionals globally adopting AI skills at a rapid rate; this is happening in parallel with employers increasingly looking for talent who know how to effectively use new AI technologies to enhance productivity in their organizations.”
There is an opportunity for expert AI freelancers to capitalize on the AI skills shortage among existing industry professionals, across sectors of the economy. In the US job market, for example, what LinkedIn classifies as the technology, information and media sector has the largest number of members proficient in AI, at just 2.2%. Other industries are seeing rapid adoption of AI core competencies, including retail and financial services, but with a very low base percentage of existing employees who are competent.
Freelancing platform Upwork, which recently signed a deal with OpenAI to connect companies with experts familiar with its large language models, says the total number of AI skills being marketed by experts is more than 250. According to Margaret Leilani, Upwork’s vice president of talent solutions, on Although there are multiple paths to AI consulting, a strong foundation in computer science, knowledge of machine learning algorithms, proficiency in programming languages such as Python, or experience managing and analyzing data across functional tasks is often needed.
Many AI experts also have college degrees or related experience, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fields including computer science or engineering. However, Leilani said, “Ultimately working in AI is about showing that you have the skills, ability, and experience to take on a particular project.”
At online learning company Udacity, there has been a 33% increase over the past year in interest in AI-based courses – Deep Learning, AI Programming with Python, AI for Trading, Machine Learning DevOps Engineer, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing. Among the required courses. “To meet this demand, approximately 20% of our current content development roadmap includes generative AI and generative AI-related content,” said Victoria Papalian, General Manager of Consumer at Udacity.
For those who have not yet entered the workforce and are interested in the field of artificial intelligence, Leilani suggests starting early by taking computer science classes. She says it will build a foundation in the programming languages needed for AI expertise, especially for high school students looking to learn about the basic elements of many AI fields. She added that stand-alone teaching methods, including YouTube videos or blogs that focus on AI skills, are becoming more in demand in the workforce. Learning new concepts and tools like ChatGPT will become important as all types of professionals across industries advance in their careers.
Start with the basics, including using OpenAI tools like ChatGPT, the ChatGPT API, Dall-E, and davinci, Ho said. But, he added, proficiency in these areas of AI is just the beginning. Taking the time to determine how these tools will be used in the business is crucial. The value of AI is limited to the user’s application of the technology, so knowledge must be complemented by the intention to use it. “The really important thing is how to bridge the gap with the real-world problem,” Hu said.
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