HomeArtificial IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence NewsChief AI officer is the latest role in tech

Chief AI officer is the latest role in tech

The chief AI officer will now have a place at the C-suite table.

In general, the job involves bridging the divide between the larger company’s macro goal and the important micro specifics of working with AI. Recently, it has become a considerably more common employment in the corporate sector as companies look for advice on how to use artificial intelligence (AI), a relatively new technology, to increase productivity and save time.

Businesses across a variety of sectors, including semiconductors and staffing, have been aggressively seeking chief AI officers. These individuals are anticipated to be crucial in guiding organizations toward the use of AI as the field continues to change quickly. That can be very helpful at times, as many CEOs seem to be unclear of how to embrace, finance, or apply the technology. Just 27% of the 3,400 C-suite executives surveyed by Accenture recently stated that their organizations are prepared to use generative AI to grow.

However, several companies are unsure about the role’s requirements and what it comprises. Moreover, recruiters claim that it takes effort to discover someone who suits the position.

A chief AI officer needs more than just technical expertise

Businesses considering increasing their AI spending may be asking themselves if they really need to bring on a chief AI officer in light of the availability of highly skilled data scientists and machine learning engineers. Most experts say the answer is yes. It is insufficient to have the abilities necessary for data analysis and machine learning, another popular tech career that entails creating, constructing, and training AI systems so they can eventually begin to make decisions for themselves.

According to Greg Selker, a managing director at the executive recruitment agency Stanton Chase, the ideal chief AI officer should be knowledgeable about a wide range of topics, including the creation and operation of large language models. They must also understand how the entire company may use these AI models. Selker said that a person cannot be a data scientist by developing algorithms all day long. The apps that use the LLM will be developed with a greater involvement from the chief AI officer.

According to Chris Daigle, CEO of ChiefAIOfficer.com, an AI consultancy business, the majority of his small and medium-sized clients don’t require a machine learning expert or data analyst to construct their own LLMs. All they need is a leader who knows how to use the AI tools that are now on the market to enhance various areas of their company.

Other than computer science talents, the profession requires them as well. According to Justin Kinsey, head of recruiting agency SBT Industries, his clients require a leader capable of navigating the complex ethical landscape around the use of AI. He claims that knowing it will guarantee that productivity increases are achieved in a secure way. SBT Industries is now working with two semiconductor businesses to hire chief AI officers. Strategic thinking and leadership abilities are critical for this post, according to many.

A ChatGPT expert with a few automation tricks under their sleeve, for instance, would not always know how to leverage the AI chatbot to alter a business, according to Daigle. Rather, before applying generative AI to the business, the chief AI officer should have a thorough understanding of it on both a macro and micro level.

According to Kinsey, the ideal combination consists of executive-level leadership, technical expertise, and strategic vision.

A chief AI officer is a difficult position to fill

It can be challenging to locate the ideal applicant who fulfills every need for the chief AI officer position, business experts told. It can be difficult to find a leader who has already proven they have the range of skills necessary to be successful in this kind of work because the sector is so young, according to Kinsey.

Companies could also need to make the financial commitment to invest in this job, which Selker of Stanton Chase notes might be costly. Regarding AI, the executive search consultant stated that it is unclear how many businesses will actually pay for the strategies’ execution and at what degree.

Companies need AI expertise—or risk being left behind

However, if a company is serious about being an AI-first enterprise, recruiters advise them to think about employing chief AI officers. In order to grasp how to apply AI on a systemic level, Selker suggested that they at the very least see the position as an extension of the chief data officer or chief information officer.

Developing an AI strategy that can be implemented throughout the entire business could determine whether a company falls behind, he added. Selker stated, “You’re kind of screwed if you’re not thinking about that already.”

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