jmcbain writes: Machine learning and artificial intelligence skills are in hot demand right now, and it's driving up the already-high salaries in Silicon Valley. "Tech's biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence (Warning: may be paywalled; alternative source)," reports the New York Times, and "typical AI specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock." The New York Times notes there are several catalysts for rocketing salaries that all come down to supply and demand. There is competition among the giant companies (e.g. Google, Facebook, and Uber) as well as the automative companies wanting help with self-driving cars. However, the biggest issue is the supply: "Most of all, there is a shortage of talent, and the big companies are trying to land as much of it as they can. Solving tough A.I. problems is not like building the flavor-of-the-month smartphone app. In the entire world, fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research, according to Element AI, an independent lab in Montreal."