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Ever since OpenAI’s ChatGPT dramatically entered the AI scene in November 2022, there has been an explosion of interest and demand in AI skills — and particularly OpenAI skills. A new partnership announced today (July 31) between OpenAI and Upwork aims to help meet the demand.
The OpenAI Experts on Upwork services is a way for OpenAI users to get access to skilled professionals to help with AI projects. The two organizations worked together to design the service to identify and help validate the right professionals to help enterprises get the AI skills that are needed.
Among the OpenAI specific skills that the program will help to source for organizations are developers with experience working GPT-4 and Whisper, as well as AI model integration. The new offering is an expansion of Upwork’s AI Services hub launched on July 11. The AI Services Hub is a general service to help organizations find AI skills and benefit from technologies from OpenAI to help users find what they need.
“This partnership is about connecting talent with relevant OpenAI skills to businesses in need of those skills to get work done more efficiently,” Dave Bottoms, GM and VP of product for the Upwork Marketplace, told VentureBeat.
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Demand for AI skills growing
The OpenAI Experts on Upwork launch is a response to demand that the two vendors are seeing in the market for AI talent.
Bottoms said that Upwork has seen massive demand for AI talent: It has been exponentially since Q4 last year. He noted that in the first half of 2023, AI was the fastest-growing category overall on the Upwork platform (in terms of total number of individuals hired).
“We’ve seen widespread adoption of generative AI on the Upwork platform across the board,” Bottoms said. “Gen AI job posts on our platform are up more than 1,000% and related searches are up more than 1500% in Q2 2023 when compared to Q4 2022.”
What the Upwork OpenAI partnership is all about
The need for AI skill is something that multiple talent platforms have seen in 2023. Earlier this year, freelance marketplace Fiverr added a dedicated AI marketplace to its service as searches spiked for AI skills.
With its direct OpenAI partnership, Upwork is aiming to provide a vetted offering of skilled professionals. Bottoms said that the partnership is about connecting talent with relevant OpenAI skills to businesses in need of those skills, to get work done more efficiently.
Bottoms said that Upwork partnered with OpenAI to identify the most common use cases for OpenAI customers — like building applications powered by large language models (LLMs), fine-tuning models and developing chatbots with responsible AI in mind.
“This partnership is about connecting talent with the important skills required for success on these types of projects with businesses,” he said. “This is not about providing help desk support for OpenAI customers.”
What AI skills are organizations looking for?
OpenAI provides a powerful platform to build upon, and presents an exciting new horizon for many companies starting to explore its potential — but as with any emerging field it requires some specific skill sets.
On the technical side, Bottoms said these might include expertise in programming, machine learning (ML) and data handling. But there’s also a need for data quality skills and privacy expertise depending on what organizations are trying to build.
“Until now, talent with many of these skills were not readily available to the majority of companies,” said Bottoms. “This partnership will seamlessly connect that talent with businesses that have those needs to achieve their most ambitious AI initiatives, accelerating their ability to innovate in the process.”
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