wifibandit: "Three non JW translations and the Greek have it as : I AM. The JW versions show: I have been. Or I already was." "This change is not a minor one if you look at it from the optic of those who think Jesus = I AM WHAT I AM."
One common misconception in Bible translation, is that to be faithful, one must transfer the original language sayings to the receptor language word-for-word. Not necessarily! Over all, one has to take into account the context, and whether there is an existing flag somewhere in the text that could point to another understanding. This is what happens with John 8:58.
For example, Jesus said to Philip word-for-word in John 14.9: "So much time with you I am and not you have known me Philip?" Now, how should one to render this in standard English? Try it!
As to the statement about those who think of Jesus as the "I am what I am." I cannot find that statement anywhere associated with Jesus Christ. But I did find that Paul, a Christian follower, said (that is, if we take his words out of context): "I am what I am." (1 Cor. 15:10) Isn't it ironic that we find Paul enunciating those words, yet there is no record of Jesus Christ ever saying those words? At most, we find Jesus saying "I am" with a variety of nuances.