Release: EDC study finds one in four local firms engaged in AI

EDC study quantifies impact of artificial intelligence, machine learning

San Diego industries that are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) support an estimated 175,680 jobs and $33.3 billion in annual gross regional product, according to a study released today by San Diego Regional EDC. Underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton, “Measuring the Future: AI and San Diego’s Economy” is the first in a series of reports that will identify key industries and clusters where AI and machine learning (ML) have been implemented, and ultimately quantify the impacts of these technologies on San Diego’s regional economy.

The study—available at SanDiegoAI.org—includes a historic timeline, cluster map, and cross-references AI patent language with job postings to anticipate the future impacts of AI and ML on the job market.

AI and ML technologies have swiftly infiltrated most every facet of our lives as computing power and speed increase. Self-driving cars, algorithmic trading, customer experience bots and AI assistants like Siri and Alexa have become commonplace tools used by people at home and at work.

“The proliferation of AI and ML technologies promises to be a transformative force for businesses worldwide—and like in many innovative industries—San Diego is at the forefront. With this report, the EDC Research Bureau helps paint a picture of the impact of AI, proving its potential to grow jobs and even help narrow gender and racial wage gaps,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional EDC.

Contrary to popular belief and despite current economic conditions, three in five AI developers (62 percent) expect to see the number of employees specifically engaged in AI-related work grow over the next 12 months. This means locally based AI talent could help meet growing demand across the U.S. as employers try to hire workers in earnest that possess skills readily available from San Diego AI. Notably, job postings data in Sun Belt metros like San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Tampa and Miami show that employers are struggling to fill positions requiring facial and speech recognition skills—key specializations of AI developers in San Diego. Meanwhile, predictive and forecasting AI could help alleviate hiring difficulties among firms in major economic and financial centers, including New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. More than eight in 10 AI developers in San Diego specialize in machine or deep learning technologies, a fundamental building block for predictive AI.

Large local companies in San Diego like Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman Corporation, ResMed and growing startups and small businesses like Lytx, Lockton, Traits AI and Semantic AI are helping to lead the charge in AI—enabling people and firms to operate more quickly and efficiently. Specifically, the use of AI or ML technologies largely supports four areas of firm activity: the development of new products and services, improved efficiency and productivity, reduced costs and an increase in business revenues.

“Booz Allen Hamilton is at the forefront of AI adoption, development and implementation, and we believe that San Diego’s companies can leverage this technology to meet their missions, attract talent and fuel economic activity,” said Joe Rohner, a Booz Allen director and leader in the firm’s analytics practice and AI services business. “We are energized that EDC’s report findings show local respondents see AI as truly helping the San Diego economy by creating more jobs—not eliminating them. People are essential to the ethical application of AI, and this technology will enable organizations and their workforce to increase productivity, quality and efficiency—in San Diego and globally.”

Despite AI’s productivity-boosting, job-creating power, a number of challenges remain. Top of mind for most local employers is the inability to source qualified talent. However, COVID-19 and the subsequent increase in remote work has expanded the talent pool for San Diego County’s AI and ML employers.

“Rapidly developing machine learning/artificial intelligence technology that enhances the work our men and women in uniform do every day is critical to the future of defense. Northrop Grumman is well positioned to continue to grow the local talent pipeline through our San Diego-based education programs so businesses in our community have the right skill sets available to support this important and rapidly evolving field,” said Alfredo Ramirez, Vice President of Northrop Grumman’s San Diego Autonomous Design Center of Excellence.

OTHER KEY FINDINGS

  • Average salary in AI/ML-concentrated industries is $127,960—3.9 percent above the national average for these industries and more than 70 percent above San Diego’s average worker salary.
  • For every 1,000 jobs gained in this cluster, another 1,400 jobs are created in other industries.
  • Survey proves AI adoption is creating job opportunities in the region:
    • 66 percent of firms agreed that the use of AI and ML has created new job opportunities
    • 54 percent of firms agree that AI and ML are increasing the need for more workers at their business
  • 31 percent of jobs in AI-concentrated fields require only a high school diploma and pay an average of $22.42 per hour
  • The boost to productivity and efficiency from AI and ML should lift wages in traditional or population-serving industries, which employ a larger share of women and non-white workers than other sectors, and could therefore potentially reduce gender and racial wage gaps as these technologies are adopted.

The report was produced by San Diego Regional EDC, underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton, and sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation, ResMed, Lytx and Lockton.

Read the full study at SanDiegoAI.org

For more research from EDC, click here.

San Diego at Work: Gary Lovely, Viasat

Through San Diego: Life.Changing. EDC works to attract and retain talent as a way to tell San Diego’s authentic story. This is the latest – check out SDlifechanging.org for more. 

We might be a little biased, but we think San Diego is a pretty special place. It’s full of passionate forward-thinkers who somehow find the perfect balance of both working hard and playing hard. So what’s San Diego’s secret formula? Simply add life-changing companiesnearby mountains and beaches, and friendly, driven people, and a great work-life balance will come naturally. Here, it’s almost impossible not to have it all – and telecommunications heavyweight Viasat is all about this harmony.

Meet Viasat.

Located in the growing tech hub of CarlsbadViasat is a global communications company that enables high-quality, affordable internet connection for new markets. Viasat innovators design solutions to provide Wi-Fi for commercial aviationmilitary technology, and underserved areas. We met Gary Lovely, a lead front-end engineer (now promoted to development manager) who moved to San Diego from the Bay Area. At Viasat, he helps connect communities to internet access, enabling more opportunities for people around the world.

“San Diego has actually given me a new lease on life, to be able to understand that I can, in a way, have it all,” he said. Even with this critical work, Gary still finds time to take advantage of Viasat’s indoor and outdoor collaborative spaces, and enjoy its basketball and beach volleyball courts. “[Before San Diego,] I didn’t realize that work-life balance was something that existed. Coming from the Bay Area, everyone always preached about it, but no one actually lived it.”

To learn more about how Viasat employees solve important problems while enjoying life, watch Gary’s video below. You’ll discover how San Diego enables a life in balance and, most importantly, why Gary loves coming to work every day. “When we’re able to solve a problem that impacts a large mass of people, it brings us a lot of joy to know that we’re doing the right thing for the community and the world as a whole,” he said. Transforming lives, including your own – it doesn’t get more #SDlifechanging than that.

Qualcomm: Creating technology and an economy San Diego loves

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation released a study— Qualcomm’s Contribution to San Diego’s Economy, showcasing how the company’s investment in the community has impacted the industry, economy and region as a whole. Since its humble beginning in 1985, Qualcomm has been at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship and research and development (R&D.) It settled with a home base in San Diego, providing a significant economic impact and tremendous contributions to our region since its founding.

Qualcomm is not only a technology industry leader in our region; it also engages the marketing, accounting, legal services, consulting, environmental and engineering industries in San Diego, in-turn creating jobs and opportunities along every step of the company’s tech journey. Just in 2018, Qualcomm had an economic impact of approximately $4 billion in the San Diego economy. To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of 41 Breeder’s Cup World Championships, 27 San Diego Comic-Cons and 3.6 San Diego Convention Centers.

Further, in 2018, Qualcomm created approximately 1,600 job postings, recruiting top-tier entrepreneurial talent while continuing to dedicate resources to strengthening our communities and educating the next generation. To its core, Qualcomm understands the importance of investing in the workforce of tomorrow. They have done just that through an interactive tutorial program called Thinkabit Labs, which engages students from different backgrounds and inspires them to be the next generation of inventors – combining science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for an educational and hands-on learning experience. Through Thinkabit, students mature by learning real-world problem-solving skills, collaborate in teams and motivate creativity on a myriad of levels. Qualcomm has hosted students from 107 schools across San Diego, inspired close to 22,000 local students and helped them create more than 5,000 inventions. Over the course of this program, Qualcomm has expanded and collaborated with 20 school districts and organizations.

Just as Qualcomm has invested into our youth, it has equally invested into our local communities. Since 2000, Qualcomm has donated more than $355 million to the San Diego community from both Qualcomm and the Qualcomm Foundation. Just in the last five years, Qualcomm employees have donated to more than 1,000 local organizations, requested matches for more than 17,900 organization and contributed more than $26 million to local communities. Qualcomm truly is a trailblazer for local philanthropy.

Many people think of Silicon Valley as the premier technology hub in America, however Qualcomm is working tirelessly to bring that title to San Diego. It’s no secret that Qualcomm is one of the leaders in 5G and also a premiere leader in creating technology the world loves. More than 130,000 patents and patent applications have come from Qualcomm in the past year. While it couldn’t have been done without our San Diegans, this type of technology and innovation is something that should be celebrated. Roughly 12 percent of the region’s total tech talent is employed by Qualcomm. To break down the impact on local jobs, Qualcomm has created: 10,170 induced jobs, which come from the result of local spending of labor income; 7,680 indirect jobs, the effect of local, inter-industry or B2B spending through existing economic structure; and 10,030 Qualcomm employees, which all adds up to an outstanding 27,880 total jobs. Because of this, for every job at Qualcomm, an additional 1.8 jobs are supported elsewhere in the San Diego economy. It truly is the job multiplier – integrating other companies and industries to provide support and collaboration that leads to industry-leading technology.

Our economic study “Qualcomm’s Contribution to San Diego’s Economy” shows some of the great contributions that Qualcomm has given to the San Diego region, but it wouldn’t be possible without the people. Thank you to the communities, employees and organizations that are helping build San Diego.

**Read the full economic impact assestment.**

*Qualcomm sponsored this study and provided employee data for EDC’s impact analysis.*

Study: One in five tech firms in SD County is located along the 78 Corridor

The technology cluster along the San Diego region’s 78 Corridor spans 70 different industries and 200 unique occupations. Encompassing the North County cities Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, this well-established and diverse tech cluster is expected to grow by 5 percent over the next five years, according to a study released by Innovate78 today.

Study highlights include:

  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster has a $6.1 billion total economic impact annually, representing nearly 25,000 jobs.
  • North County’s technology cluster has a competitive advantage in precision manufacturing – specializing in the production of biomedical devices, telecommunications equipment and defense-related products.
  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster is 1.4 times more concentrated than the nation.
  • Biotech and biomed devices has been the fastest growing segment in the tech cluster, with a 9 percent increase in employment since 2011.

Read the executive summary and full study here.