Harry McCracken and I had a chance to chat about the “2018 AI War” for talent. Harry keyed into statements I made about the demand for talent in his Fast Company article. We all see this imbalance between demand for AI and the number of people who have the necessary skill to deploy the latest techniques. The article notes that perhaps one percent of companies had sufficient AI talent, creating a race for products, services, and people. We estimated thousands of machine learning experts, about a million data scientists, and perhaps 10 million programmers. That’s dwarfed by 100 million or more technical business professionals.

Luckily, expontentials are working in our favor. The number of students matriculating and studying machine learning seems to be doubling every year, if not faster. Every professor I’ve met who leads an AI course talks about how they’re at capacity. Online courses are popping up everywhere, too.