Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Most AI examples that you hear about today – from chess-playing computers to self-driving cars – rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data.
The term artificial intelligence was coined in 1956, but AI has become more popular today thanks to increased data volumes, advanced algorithms, and improvements in computing power and storage.
Early AI research in the 1950s explored topics like problem solving and symbolic methods. In the 1960s, the US Department of Defense took interest in this type of work and began training computers to mimic basic human reasoning. For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) completed street mapping projects in the 1970s. And DARPA produced intelligent personal assistants in 2003, long before Siri, Alexa or Cortana were household names.
This early work paved the way for the automation and formal reasoning that we see in computers today, including decision support systems and smart search systems that can be designed to complement and augment human abilities.
While Hollywood movies and science fiction novels depict AI as human-like robots that take over the world, the current evolution of AI technologies isn’t that scary – or quite that smart. Instead, AI has evolved to provide many specific benefits in every industry. Keep reading for modern examples of artificial intelligence in health care, retail and more.
Companies ranging from Amazon to IBM to Uber and Accenture are currently hiring and have open AI roles on Glassdoor. Accenture’s strategy consulting arm is actively involved in helping companies plan and deploy AI through their operations. Wells Fargo is like many financial firms is using AI to streamline manual transactions and improve customer service.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks. How do you get a job in AI?
Outside of having a strong skill set and education, there are a few ways to make yourself a strong candidate for AI roles, that are both cutting-edge and lucrative. Before applying to your dream role, consider the following:
Check out online courses.
Like many tech-based fields, there are several online courses for AI topics, allowing someone to learn more about the field as a whole or gain more specialized knowledge. Some options offer certifications that can bolster a resume, Purcell said.
If you’re eyeing an AI career, mark your calendar with these AI conferences:
- O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference
- MLConf Atlanta
- ODSC Europe
Networking and attending AI related events will not only help you make invaluable connections, but you will be able to learn all of the state-of-the-art innovations. Because AI is evolving so rapidly, staying on top of the latest advancements is paramount.
Add standard business knowledge.
Many of the in-demand AI jobs are technical by nature, but knowing how to translate those developments to other businesses or consumers is important for any organization, Purcell said.
“Since these folks are typically very technical, they don’t necessarily have the business acumen necessary to translate the results of these models into operationalized AI systems that impact the bottom line while having a positive impact on the customer experience as well,” Purcell said. “So there’s also increasing demand for a different skill set that includes familiarity with AI techniques as well as deep business and domain expertise.”
Multiple experts agreed: Those working in AI should always be learning, and reading is a way to do that. Roman Yampolskiy, director of the Cybersecurity Laboratory at the University of Louisville, recommended subscribing to scientific publications.
“The real trick is to read. Read a lot. Not just your own area but all the related areas. And a few things even more distant,” Walsh said, recommending science and nature topics across multiple platforms.
Read open job descriptions.
“Go directly to the position’s main duties and line them up with the company’s mission statement. Are you able to see how the everyday tasks lineup with the overall progress of the company and customers,” says career expert Heather Human. “It isn’t just your position that affects your passion for a career—it’s the company as a whole. Look to the website for the organization’s values and compare them to the impact you hope to have on customers—or even the world.”
Update your personal brand.
Content curation is a way to encourage interest in your brand on social media. If you are transitioning careers or shifting into AI, it’s important to show that interested on LinkedIn, Medium or Facebook. Share articles, engage with influencers, updates your professional summary and be sure to weave in or highlight the skills that a company is looking for.
“When considering skills and requirements, it’s important to be honest with yourself and the company, says Human. “Overselling your skills or ability to learn new things quickly could set you up for a stressful start — or worse, failure.”