Those employees are helping Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Meta improve chatbots and build other A.I. systems. Apple is hiring for A.I. engineers, as the company develops its own A.I. offering to release later this year.
“Our M.O., if you will, has always been to do work and then talk about work and not to get out in front of ourselves,” Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, said on a call with analysts last week. “But we’ve got some things that we’re incredibly excited about.”
The companies are spending billions of dollars on the expensive chips and supercomputers necessary to train and build A.I. systems. By the end of the year, Meta expects to have purchased 350,000 of specialized chips from the chip maker Nvidia, which cost an estimated $30,000 each.
The push into generative A.I. has coincided with cuts elsewhere. Google’s layoffs reduced the number of people working on augmented reality technology. Meta, which laid off nearly 20,000 people last year, has been cutting some of its program managers, who oversee different projects and are responsible for keeping teams on schedule.
Over two years, 2020 and 2021, Amazon doubled its work force to 1.6 million employees as it tried to keep up with a surge of e-commerce orders. The hiring included increasing the number of corporate jobs to 380,000 from 200,000. It has since cut about 30,000 corporate jobs and about 50,000 other jobs, according to a person with knowledge of the changes, and its leadership has made clear that those jobs won’t return any time soon.