Top 5 AI hires companies need to succeed in 2019

By Brad Fisher

Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominates the conversation in c-suites and boardrooms as a strategic imperative to stay relevant and competitive.

While many companies are still in the early stages of AI implementation, having only launched small or disparate experiments, the real value from AI comes when the solutions and technology are integrated into the organization.

Understanding the potential impact of integrating AI broadly into the operations of the entire enterprise — automating, accelerating and enhancing key business processes to transform at scale —  is key to driving lasting competitive advantage. 

In fact, according to CompTIA, from January through September of 2018, there has been a 63 percent increase in emerging technology job openings. And AI expertise is one of the top subject matter needs.

The AI deployment of integrated and scalable solutions across the business requires more than just data scientists. It takes a robust team with a range of specialized AI and business skills who can help with every stage of the process. And right now few companies seem to have the right mix needed for AI to bring strategic value to an organization.

With the surge in open AI roles on the horizon, companies are competing to build and diversify their teams to help them progress from AI pilots to integrated and scalable solutions across the business. Based on KPMG’s own AI projects and those we advise clients on, here are the top five AI jobs companies need to create/consider if they are to effectively build their AI capabilities:

  • AI Architect –These specialists look at individual business processes - as well as the big picture organization - and determine where they can inject and embed AI successfully. They are also responsible for measuring performance, and sustaining the AI model over time – ensuring it removes mundane tasks to optimize humans in the workforce. The lack of AI architects is a big reason why companies cannot successfully sustain AI initiatives.
  • AI Product Manager – Working closely with the AI architect, the AI product manager serves as a liaison across multiple business teams to ensure solutions are successfully implemented. They also work closely with these teams – as well as HR – to identify organizational changes needed to ensure optimal performance of both humans and machines.
  • Data Scientist – With the ever-growing amount of data available to businesses, there is a shortage of experts with the skills to clean this data, and then design and apply the appropriate algorithms to glean meaningful insights.
  • Software Engineer – One of the biggest problems facing businesses is getting AI from pilot phase to scalable deployment. Software engineers work hand-in-hand with data scientists to bring AI into production, blending business acumen with a deep understanding of how AI works.
  • AI Ethicist – As ethical and social implications of AI continue to unfold, companies may need to create new jobs tasked with the critical responsibility of establishing AI frameworks that uphold company standards and codes of ethics. Initially, these roles could be fulfilled by existing leaders in an organization, but as the effects of AI fully take shape, it may need to be the responsibility of one person to ensure these guidelines are upheld. 

The surging demand for these five AI skillsets means that it’s not easy to identify and hire these resources. But the scarcity promises to increase in the coming months and years, so business leaders are best advised to build their team with due haste.

Brad Fisher is a KPMG partner and U.S. leader of Data and Analytics and AI. 


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Brad Fisher

Brad Fisher

Partner, Data & Analytics Lead, KPMG US

+1 212-909-5498

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Melanie Malluk Batley

Melanie Malluk Batley

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-307-8217