Top 7 OpenAI Competitors That Pay Multiple Six Figures

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The landscape of AI technology is rapidly evolving, with several companies emerging as key competitors to OpenAI. Each of these competitors brings unique strengths and approaches to the field, challenging OpenAI’s dominance in various ways.

What are some good companies, apart from OpenAI, to work for and participate in the growth of the AI industry?

Here’s a screenshot from OpenAI’s own reported income levels showing that a software engineer working for OpenAI makes $200k on the low end and $370k on the high end.

Here’s a concise table summarizing the average salary ranges for Software Engineers at each company:

CompanySalary Range (Annual)
OpenAI$200K – $370K
Anthropic$115K – $335K
DeepMind$175K – $245K
xAI$104K – $135K (possibly much more)
Cohere$136K – $212K
Stability AI$84K – $127K
Aleph Alpha$98,639 – $115,842
AI21 Labs$118K – $168K
sources see below


Anthropic: Founded by former OpenAI research executives in 2021, Anthropic is valued at $4.1 billion. Google is a significant investor in Anthropic, which focuses on safety in AI with their “Constitutional AI” approach. Their AI chatbot, Claude 2, is publicly available in the US and the UK​.

Sources for salary expectations:


DeepMind: A Google subsidiary, DeepMind has been a prominent player since 2010. Known for AI products like AlphaGo and AlphaFold, DeepMind’s focus is on utilizing machine learning to solve complex problems. They are planning to launch their chatbot, Gemini, leveraging their experience in reinforcement learning​.

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xAI: Founded by Elon Musk, is a new entrant in the field, established in March 2023. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, xAI Corp has developed products such as Grok and PromptIDE.

Grok, in particular, is a chatbot that distinguishes itself with real-time access to information published on X, which is claimed to be a significant advantage over other models that rely on pre-fed information​​​.

The introduction of Grok, especially with its unique feature of real-time information access and a sense of humor, positions xAI as a notable competitor in the AI chatbot arena, directly challenging the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

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Cohere: Founded in 2019 and valued at $2.2 billion, Cohere differentiates itself by targeting business customers. They specialize in Command Models designed for practical business applications, setting them apart from OpenAI’s consumer-focused models​.

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Stability AI

Stability AI: Established in 2019, Stability AI gained attention with Stable Diffusion, an AI-based image generator that rivals OpenAI’s Dall-E. Their open-source approach encourages collaboration within the AI community, contrasting with OpenAI’s proprietary stance​.

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Aleph Alpha

Aleph Alpha: A German AI startup founded in 2019, Aleph Alpha focuses on enterprise customers, specifically targeting industries like law, healthcare, and banking. They emphasize privacy, not gathering user data, unlike OpenAI​.

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AI21 Labs

AI21 Labs: Since its establishment in 2017, AI21 Labs has released Jurassic-1 Jumbo and the updated Jurassic-2, which features improved training data and response times. They offer API access to these models through their service platform, AI21 Studio.

Sources of salary expectations:

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