Few Employers Ask for “Ethical AI” Skills in Job Postings

Published on Jul 20, 2023

Written by Scott Bittle

illustration of ethical ai

Companies say they are working toward responsible use of artificial intelligence–but so far they’re not building it into their hiring.

Less than a half-percent of all AI-related job postings in the United States so far this year have mentioned terms like “responsible AI” or “ethical AI.” That’s four times the percentage in 2019, but still only a tiny 0.47%  of the 113,568 US jobs that call for AI skills so far this year.

Lightcast is examining employer demand for responsible AI as part of a collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with upcoming cross-country analysis.This preview only covers demand in the United States.

Many companies have issued responsible AI statements, weighed in on national policy, and otherwise signaled how seriously they take AI’s potential for both good and bad. Yet the fact that this concern isn’t built into hiring practices shows that it is still quite early in terms of dealing with the implications of AI.

When companies post job ads, they are signaling what skills they need, but also what kind of employer they are and what matters to them. When new challenges or new values arrive, it takes time for them to reshape job descriptions. US employers may be entirely serious about their commitment to ethical AI. But what the job posting data suggests is that this concern hasn’t permeated companies from top to bottom yet.

ethical AI postings in the US

“Ethical AI postings” are jobs that mention the terms "AI" or "artificial intelligence" in combination with the words "ethical," "ethics," "responsible," or "trustworthy."

All told, Lightcast examined over 184 million job postings between 2019 and 2023, drawn from Lightcast’s database of more than 1 billion current and historical job postings.

The top employer for ethical AI in the first half of 2023 is health insurance company Humana, followed by a number of tech and professional services firms. Organizations like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte are often among the first to hire for new skills, because a key part of their business is explaining new fields to corporate clients.

ethical ai postings by country bar chart

Most of the AI skills that employers are looking for are technical, and most of the AI roles advertised are technical as well. The major AI jobs in 2022 included roles such as Data Scientist, Software Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers, and Data Analysts.

Among skills, machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning are most in demand. Interestingly, generative AI skills, built around platforms like ChatGPT, are the center of discussion but still not among the top 20 skills in demand.

Top AI Skills in Demand across all AI Postings in the US

Artificial Intelligence Skills

Share of Postings

(2023 YTD)

Machine Learning


Artificial Intelligence


Apache Spark


Natural Language Processing


Deep Learning




Computer Vision


PyTorch (Machine Learning Library)


Machine Learning Algorithms


Artificial Neural Networks


Autonomous Vehicles


Robotic Systems