Careers in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Smoothstack Reviews AI

While once reserved for our imagination, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are here to stay. AI is in the top 10 trends[1] driving growth in Information Technology.   Artificial intelligence is “broadly defined as the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior,” whereas machine learning “ gives computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmed.”[2] While AI gets most of the attention, ML is the part of AI that makes things smarter over time.  By using past data, ML allows decisions to be made by the AI.

If you are worried about the robots taking your jobs, AI is expected to create 58 million jobs[3].  Even with the pandemic, AI job growth has increased 32% since 2019[4].  AI and machine learning are being integrated into more aspects of daily life every day.

If you use Gmail or Outlook, you’ve likely noticed the text suggestions that pop up as you reply to someone. You can thank AI for that. The last time you took a flight, your pilots likely only had complete control of the airplane for take-off and landing, AI was at the helm for most of the flight.

Do you use Waze or Google Maps to estimate how much time you’ll need to drive to work? You can thank ML for that. Have you used your bank’s app to deposit a check via photo? You can thank ML for that, too.

Someone Has to Program AI

Behind all Artificial Intelligence, there’s an army of people working to make sure that the algorithms work correctly and that users find the new tools helpful rather than annoying or invasive.

AI jobs range from engineers; who build the platforms, data scientists; who monitor the trends and keep the algorithms up to date, to mathematicians; who write the algorithms.

There’s also a business side to AI and ML. Business Intelligence Developers are responsible for integrating AI and ML with a human team and keeping the business as efficient and profitable as possible. Marketing is also increasingly being driven by AI.

User experience (UX) designers work to ensure that the AI and ML being offered are things that the public can use and want to use.

In short, the range of career paths in AI or ML is rapidly expanding with no end in sight.

What’s Next for AI

Two new AI technologies were introduced in the last year, OpenAI’s GPT-3 and Google’s Deepmind AlphaFold2[5].   GPT-3 expanded language processing to allow reading, writing, and conversation with humans beyond simply programmed responses.  If you dreamed about having a meaningful conversation with a robot, GPT-3 would make it possible. 

AlphaFold2 is likely to be the future of medicine.  Its ability to break down protein structures will dramatically accelerate DNA research.  Look for new drugs and cures for rare diseases because the time and cost to do the research will drop significantly.

Many of these technologies may not be apparent to the public, but they are changing our lives.  In the coming years, we are likely to see more sophisticated physical robots showing up in warehouses and other industrial settings.  If you want a glimpse of what is possible, check out the robots of Boston Dynamics[6].

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