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Artificial intelligence is big, but are companies hiring for AI roles too fast?

Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer is the hot new emerging job for 2024. Although most companies do not need someone dedicated solely to AI in the C-suite, they need something.

All the hype around generative artificial intelligence since the release of OpenAI's ChatGPT has companies scrambling to hire talent who knows how to implement and harness the rapidly developing technology.

Indeed's latest U.S. Jobs and Hiring Trends Report published in November found AI job postings surged 20-fold from the beginning of 2023 to the end of October. 

As part of the trend, there has now been a sharp rise in what appears to be a hot new job for 2024: Chief AI Officer (CAIO).

According to Glassdoor, 122 people with the title of chief or vice president of AI joined a forum last year on Glassdoor, up from 19 in 2022. That number is set to explode this year just from government positions alone, as over 400 federal departments are looking for CAIOs.


However, what does this new role entail, and who should fill it? Should an AI chief be an engineer, an attorney, or have some other background? 

Asha Palmer, SVP of Compliance at edtech firm Skillsoft, says the answers to those questions will vary depending on the industry and company, but leaders need to have concrete answers to them before investing in a dedicated AI position in the C-suite.

"I don't think there's one answer for everyone," Palmer told FOX Business. "I think companies have to [ask], ‘What are our use cases? And then, ’How are we using it? Where do we want to use it? How can we accelerate our business?' Those are all the questions businesses should start asking themselves, and probably already are."

Then, Palmer says, companies need to ask themselves what risks they face by using AI, and determine who is best situated either internally or outside the organization to balance the opportunities and risks that come with the technology.


Rather than having a dedicated chief AI officer, Skillsoft has an AI governance committee made up of a cross-functional team for oversight. Representatives from several different departments are involved, including representation from legal, engineering, compliance and customer success. 

Palmer says that whether a company chooses to hire a CAIO or to form a governing board, AI has to be an organizational focus with high-level oversight and visibility.

She said boards need to question their company's uses for AI and the controls around it, because the technology is here to stay and will be increasingly utilized, accelerating efficiencies and effectiveness. Additionally, those who are not asking those questions should start now in order to be ahead of the regulations surrounding AI that are sure to come.


Palmer said regulations usually come after most people have put some kind of infrastructure in place, and serve as a force mechanism to make everyone else get on board.

She said, "I would encourage businesses who are wanting to be good corporate citizens to start this journey in the absence of regulation, and really create a sustainable and strategic strategy around AI, which again, involves the acceleration factor, but also the guardrails and the brakes."

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