Google And Apple Compete For AI Startups
Almost every tech company is now considering artificial intelligence (AI) to boost their sales. Now, Google and Apple are racing to acquire the most promising AI startups.
The two multinational companies have acquired the most AI startups since 2012, as per a report by the Venture Beat. Google has acquired almost 14 startups, while Apple has gotten 13.
In 2010, Apple acquired the ever-famous Siri, the company's intelligent personal assistant present in its systems. But, since Siri, Apple's progress in AI has been slowing down. Apple, unlike Facebook and Google, has a strong privacy protection policy which avoids the building of user profiles. With AI, data collection becomes necessary for more services.
That said, Apple is trailing close behind Google, acquiring Pop Up Archive last December. Pop Up Archive, a podcast search engine, is a small start-up. Apple has claimed that they intended to buy "smaller technology companies from time to time."
The New York Times has reported that there are only less than 10,000 AI talents with serious skills in the world. With this rarity, AI specialists can be offered from $300,000 to $500,000 annually to work for tech giants.
For example, self-driving car engineer Anthony Levandowski took home more than $120 million in incentives. DeepMind Technologies Limited, a British AI company acquired by Google in 2014 for $400 million, reportedly pays $345,000 per employee.
Meanwhile, engineers at Google's autonomous vehicle company, Waymo, make about $283,00 a year, according to Forbes. But, Silicon Valley and Uber pay their engineers even more, with the former shedding out $295,000 a year per employee, and the latter, $348,000.
Ford Motor's Argo AI project, an AI company for self-driving car technology, has over $1 billion in investments.
"There's a war for talent out there," said Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields, told Forbes. "While we have the majority, we're giving a significant chunk to Bryan and Peter and the employees so they can be competitive with the other startups in this space."
This goes to show that there is indeed a tough competition for AI talents. Jessica Cataneo, an executive recruiter at the tech recruiting firm CyberCoders, has expressed the difficulties of smaller companies to compete with these tech giants who can afford AI talents, according to the New York Times.
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