Seven-figure top salaries could soon become the norm among AI experts. As “Spiegel” reports, this trend is putting pressure even on Tesla boss Elon Musk to pay his workforce better, among other things to keep them focused.

“The craziest talent war I have ever seen”

Musk announced on the social platform 'X', formerly Twitter, late in the afternoon of April 3 that he would increase the salaries of Tesla's artificial intelligence engineers. He wanted to prevent other companies, especially OpenAI, from stealing them. In 'X', Musk expressed suspicions that OpenAI was actively trying to poach Tesla engineers with “massive salary offers.” Musk calls the current situation “the craziest talent war he's ever seen.”

The company OpenAI, known among other things for developing ChatGPT, has already offered its top developers annual salaries in the six-and-a-half figures, according to official tax documents. In one case a salary of 1.9 million dollars (the equivalent of about 1.75 million euros) was even paid.

Recent developments in the AI ​​industry have increased competition for qualified employees in Silicon Valley. Startups and established tech companies fight for the best minds. The streaming service Netflix also made headlines when it was looking for an artificial intelligence expert with an annual salary of up to 830,000 euros.

Elon Musk sues OpenAI

The relationship between Musk and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is already strained. Musk, co-founder of OpenAI, sued the company in March. He accuses OpenAI of betraying its original mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity.

According to Musk, OpenAI would now be aimed more at the profits of Microsoft, one of its main investors, than at the well-being of humanity. The lawsuit aims to force OpenAI to adhere to the original agreement and act in the interests of humanity instead of pursuing Microsoft's interests.

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