It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find an industry where artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t already making or expected to make an impact. The freelance economy is no exception.
Smart technologies have entered the freelancing space with intensity, and not just where you might think. Not only are AI-related skills more in demand than ever, AI is impacting everything from hiring to project management.
AI adoption is growing in spite of a sluggish start
AI adoption hasn’t been rapid, not by a long shot. However, that appears to be changing. Just in the marketing sector alone, 77% of executives believe that AI adoption will increase significantly this year. AI is no longer seen as some “out there” sci-fi technology. Thanks to the success of more pioneering companies, more conservative firms are becoming more willing to use AI. This has also led in an increase in interest in understanding the basics of AI.At this point, nearly all large tech firms have AI projects in the works. They are also willing to pay significant amounts of money to professionals who can get this work done. The problem they face is that the talent they need is quite scarce. In fact, less than 10,000 people worldwide have the skills required to work on serious AI research projects.
Freelancers, who do have the required skills or feel confident to develop such, can likely expect a steady influx of job offers. As can be expected, many will be able to charge rates that are quite astronomical. At the moment, top companies are already paying between $300,000 to $500,000 salaries to specialists with Ph.D. and a few years of practical experience.
Smart algorithms now allow freelancers to better target their cold pitches
Freelance developers are not the only one to benefit from AI innovations. Writers and marketers can improve their outreach success rate. A new tool, Respondable, developed by the Boomerang for Google team, promises to improve your cold email response rates.
The tool’s smart algorithms will rank each email on the likelihood that it will receive a positive response. The free version ranks on length, word count, and reading level. The premium product also measures positivity and politeness among other things. This can be a real benefit to writers who are attempting to build a client list and get hired for writing projects, but are struggling to “make an impression” with their pitch emails.
The entire Respondable project was inspired by this blog post. This details much of the data driving the email evaluations offered by Respondable. This includes:
Emails that show emotion receive more responses than neutral emails
Positive but not overly flowery emails receive the best response
Very negative emails receive the least response, but slightly negative emails fared better than neutral ones
Recipients respond better to emails written at a primary school level
The shortest subject lines get the most response
AI is being used to match companies to the best freelancers
The process of hiring full-time staff members to complete and maintain software development projects is complex. It’s also costly. For many companies, it’s also a bad business decision. Statistics show that companies are spending on IT outsourcing more than ever and they are ramping up the volume of work they tend to outsource. There are many reasons for this, including:
Companies need work done quickly and don’t have time to hire permanent staff.
Hiring full time staff simply isn’t in the budget.
Short-term projects don’t require hiring long term staff.
Hiring managers are unsure of the skillsets they need and want to begin with freelancers or consultants.
Yet, hiring freelancers and remote workers can be challenging as well. There’s still a recruiting and hiring process that can be lengthy and expensive. Hiring the wrong freelancer can cause project delays or worse—a project failure. To mitigate this, Cisco and other companies are using new technology, Tara AI—a matching tool that connects IT projects with freelancers who have the exact skills required to complete them.
Tara AI works by learning from openly available data on the web. It browses the Internet to find code that closely matches the business requirements of projects and tries to establish the developer who wrote that code. This leads to the software developing more intelligence about various projects and improving algorithms used to match freelancers with projects.
Developers who work with Tara AI in order to be matched with clients agree to allow the service to have access to their Github data. Github is a version control system containing repositories of code used in the development of software and app projects.
Unlike other project matching and bidding systems, there is no negotiating about rates here. All developers are paid the same flat rate that is calculated based on project difficulty. This means that a student would make as much as a professional with decades of experience, as long as they have the proven skills to do the job.
AI is having a major impact on various segments of the freelancing economy. This includes an increasing demand for freelancers with AI development skills, and the use of AI to connect freelancers with businesses who need their services. As AI adoption increases, the influence of this technology on freelancers is only likely to increase.