Heading into 2024 there is little doubt that demand for anyone that has experience using generative artificial intelligence (AI) to automate a business process is going to be in high demand. While there is no shortage of individuals that use generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT daily, the number of individuals that truly understand how to operationalize AI remains relatively small. As a result, the number of job postings for individuals with any meaningful experience using generative AI within the context of business far exceeds the available supply.

Not surprisingly, an army of independent contracts is now looking to fill that void. The issue that organizations will encounter is that the level of AI expertise any contractor is likely to have varies widely. The number of base level certifications that organizations can ask anyone extolling their AI expertise to present is still limited. On the plus side, online platforms, such as Upwork, are now providing AI training to contractors that use their platforms to find work. For example, an AI Services hub created by Upwork provides freelance contractors with access to the generative AI platforms created by OpenAI to make it simpler to both navigate the platform using natural language and Jasper, a provider of a platform for creating content.

Upwork is also making available an AI Education Library on Upwork Academy along with providing access to AI tools such as the CodeWhisperer tool from Amazon Web Services (AWS) along with productivity and collaboration tools from Adobe, Miro and ClickUp.

The overall goal is to make it simpler for organizations to find AI talent at a time when demand for that expertise continues to exponentially increase, says Dave Bottoms, general manager and vice president of product for the Upwork Marketplace. “There’s a gold rush on for AI talent,” he notes.

In fact, Upwork reports there has been a 450% growth year-over-year increase in weekly job posts related to generative AI compared to last year. All told, prospective employers can find professionals with more than 250 unique type of AI skills on the Upwork platform.

There is, of course, going to be no shortage of online training platforms that will enable individuals to hone their AI skills. The biggest challenge is often simply getting started. Understanding how to craft the prompts that coax a generative AI platform into surfacing a desired result requires some expertise. Not everyone needs to become a so-called prompt engineer, but understanding how to frame a question in a way that enables an AI platform to generate, for example, a workflow requires an ability to logically frame requests. Of course, the more exposed anyone becomes to a generative AI platform, the more naturally adept they become at employing it.

One way or another, it’s now only a matter of time before generative AI is pervasively employed. Many employees will soon find that the organization they work for has created a library of prompts on their behalf to automate a process. The challenge, and the opportunity now, is going to be teaching employees and contractors alike how to get the most out of a generative AI platform.