The U.S. banks most in need of artificial intelligence experts

Judging solely by headlines and quotes from CEOs, banks are in desperate need of engineers with experience working with artificial intelligence. J.P. Morgan recently made waves by poaching AI specialists from Google, Facebook and two leading research universities in the U.S. Goldman Sachs created an equal splash by hiring away a machine learning guru from Amazon to run its AI efforts.

Still, there doesn’t appear to be a dramatic need for rows and rows of AI engineers at big U.S. banks. Active job postings that require a background in artificial intelligence are far from overwhelming, though some of that could be due to the apparent difficulty of finding and hiring capable AI engineers. J.P. Morgan, for example, recently hosted an open recruiting event attended by its top AI minds in an attempt to meet and potentially lure talent away talent from big Silicon Valley tech companies. It appears that the desperation may be there, at least at some banks, but the expectation of hundreds of hires seems overblown.

The chart below shows the number of current AI-related openings at each of the top five U.S. investment banks. Unsurprisingly, J.P. Morgan leads the list. The bank is building a fintech-focused office in Palo Alto, nestled right between the campuses of Google and Facebook, and has shown more aggression in its recruitment of AI engineers. Goldman, too, has been rather vocal about adding next-generation technology talent, though its consumer business is admittedly much smaller than brick-and-mortar banks like Bank of America and Citi.

However, all but one of Goldman’s current openings are based in the New York area. BofA and Citi have just one a piece in New York – both with the same title: senior AI lead. The rest are spread across back-office hubs in states like Florida and Texas, while several of Citi’s openings are overseas in locales like Singapore, Hungary and Malaysia. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley has just two total. The sole opening in New York is for someone with artificial intelligence-based predictive modeling experience to help the bank’s wealth management unit.

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