Sutskever's AI co seen offering NIS 60,000 monthly starting pay

Ilya Sutskever credit: Cadya Levy
Ilya Sutskever credit: Cadya Levy

Ilya Sutskever and his partners say they are looking for "top technical talents." Who fits the bill, and how much will they earn?

Last week, OpenAI cofounder and former chief scientist Ilya Sutskever unveiled his new startup company, which is to be called SSI and which, like OpenAI, will develop artificial intelligence technology. In a posting on the X network that became an overnight sensation, Sutskever and his partners, Daniel Levy and Daniel Gross, announced their intention of opening offices in California and Tel Aviv, and of recruiting the best minds in the field. They used the expression "top technical talents", but gave no details beyond that.

That immediately set the rumor mill in Israel’s AI sector rolling, with speculation about the suitability of various people who would be delighted to start working with Sutskever, a pioneer of the field.

Who in fact could work at a company like SSI, and who fits the definition of "top technical talent"? A source in the sector explains that, first of all, it’s necessary to understand what the branch to be opened in Tel Aviv will work on. "If there’s a research group here, they’ll mainly look for academics who specialize in language models," he says. "There are many researchers in Israel in the relevant field. If it’s a matter of development, the assessment is that they will probably look for people who are already developing large language models, with at least four to five years experience."

Revital Shir-Maroko of recruitment firm HRIT told "Globes": "The assumption is that the new company will look for people with a background in data science and data researchers, people with doctorates in computer science and mathematics, from leading universities like the Technion. It will also be important for them that they are people with experience in the industry, say employees of companies developing similar products or competing companies, even employees of OpenAI itself."

On the question of pay, Shir-Maroko says, "It could start at NIS 50,000-60,000 monthly. For a top talent it could reach NIS 80,000, and there are a few individuals whose local salary is NIS 100,000 a month."

As for experience, she says, "If we’re talking about two years experience, the salary will of course be lower. I guess that the search will be for people with at least six years experience in the industry, of course not including academic experience in the case of leading lecturers in artificial intelligence. Experience of five years or more will probably lead to a starting salary ranging from NIS 60,000 to NIS 80,000 monthly."

Another industry source seconds Shir-Maroko’s assessment. "In general, we’re talking about a minimum of NIS 60,000 basic salary, before extras, if the pay is adjusted to Israel. It’s important to note that there’s a difference between a data scientist, for example, and a data analyst, a difference that could translate into tens of thousands of shekels monthly, in favor of the data scientist. And how many top talents like that are there in Israel?"

According to a breakdown on LinkedIn, the number of people in Israel holding PhD degrees with at least five years experience in artificial intelligence is a little over 800.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 26, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Ilya Sutskever credit: Cadya Levy
Ilya Sutskever credit: Cadya Levy
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