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MIT Technology Review

AI experts’ salaries are topping $1 million—even at nonprofits

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In the AI world, you don’t need to be working for a giant for-profit corporation to rake in the dough.

Off the charts: The New York Times took a look at nonprofit OpenAI’s tax filing and found some eye-popping figures. A top researcher got over $1.9 million in 2016, and one expert, Ian Goodfellow, was paid more than $800,000 for only a partial year’s work.

Pay up: If you want to attract top AI talent, the lesson is simple: set aside the lion’s share of your budget for wages. In its first year, OpenAI spent a total of $11 million, and over $7 million of that went to salaries and benefits.

In demand: There’s a shortage of skilled AI experts, and it’s driving salaries into the stratosphere. Top tech companies increasingly see AI as integral to succeeding, and they’ll try anything, including some zany recruiting efforts, to try to lure in the very best minds.

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