Mar 5, 2024 - Technology

AI jobs charge ahead in the face of public skepticism

Data: UMD-LinkUp AIMaps; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: UMD-LinkUp AIMaps; Chart: Axios Visuals

New AI jobs postings continue to grow in the U.S. despite the fact that public trust in AI technology and the companies behind it is sinking.

Why it matters: The trend highlights the disconnected feelings between the public and the tech industry when it comes to the advancement of AI.

State of play: There were 10,404 new AI job postings in January, a 42% rise from Dec. 2022, according to the University of Maryland and LinkUp's AI job tracker.

  • By comparison, there were more than 90,000 total new IT job postings in January — a 31% drop from from Dec. 2022, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Data from Indeed.com shows a similar trend, with AI job listings increasing while listings for data science and software engineering jobs are decreasing, per the Journal.

The big picture: The upswing in AI jobs posts comes despite layoffs in the tech industry and worry from workers that AI could threaten their jobs.

  • Consumer skepticism of AI remains strong despite efforts by AI companies to win over the public.
  • In the U.S., trust in AI companies has dropped to 35% from 50% five years ago, according to data from Edelman shared first with Axios.
  • What's more, the low levels of trust are seen across the political spectrum.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Ryan Heath: Companies want the productivity benefits and creative potential of AI.

  • At the same time, most of us wonder if AI will come for our own job — driving a deep unease that these powerful technologies are arriving without any guarantees they will be managed for the public benefit.
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