The artificial intelligence is greeted with a mix of excitement and dread. For its proponents, it promises a future full of luxuries and untold and unimagined comforts. But its detractors think otherwise equating it with an evil technology that will create immense unemployment and worse a future where we are beholden to machines for even our existence. Whether you love it or hate it you cannot ignore it. Artificial intelligence is already in use in so many industries and its use is likely to grow further with time. Just what is artificial intelligence? What job prospects it holds? And what are the skills you need to get into the field of artificial intelligence? We will discuss all this and more here.
What is artificial intelligence?
American computer scientist John McCarthy, who first came up with the term, artificial intelligence defines it as combining science and engineering to make intelligent machines or intelligent programs. It is the development of machines that can think and reason. Machines that can behave, think, react, and understand things like humans. Voice recognition, self-driving cars, chatbots, are some of the few manifestations of artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence and jobs
Artificial intelligence is an emerging field and holds a lot of growth potential. A 2017 report by McKinsey concludes that by 2030 one third of the workers in the US will be replaced by robots and automation. Another report by Gartner states that 30% of all B2B companies will use artificial intelligence in one of their sales processes to boost it. Gartner had also predicted the creation of 2.8 million jobs in the sector of artificial intelligence but Covid-19 did not let it happen. Still, the sector has not its luster and it will recover from the aftereffects of the global pandemic as the statistics support this argument. The job posting has been steadily going up in the artificial intelligence sector in the past two years. It saw an upswing of 46% in 2018-2019 and 51% in 2019-2020.
In any case, artificial intelligence holds a lot of attraction for job-seekers, and many people are turning towards it as a career. But like any profession, it requires the adoption of some skills and knowledge. Let us take a look at what you need to learn and know to be an artificial intelligence professional.
Skills needed to be an artificial intelligence expert
The skills that you need to be an artificial intelligence expert can be broadly categorized into two categories;
- Technical skills
- Non-technical skills
There are many technical skills that you will need to learn to be an artificial intelligence expert. You can enroll for different artificial intelligence skills set here. But for now, we will briefly discuss some of them below;
Knowledge of programming languages
An artificial intelligence expert needs to master at least one programming language. It is an additional benefit if he knows more than one. Languages like Python, R, Java, C++ are more popular than others and provide the basis through which the experts understand the structure of different data types and classes and can do coding in them.
Knowledge about Mathematics and Statistics
You got to have a good deal of understanding of different concepts of mathematics, algebra, and statistics. You will use them a lot in understanding and preparing algorithms and machine learning. You will come across, matrices, derivatives, matrix multiplication, integrals, standard deviation, probability, regression, and many other concepts related to these subjects.
Artificial Neural Network
Artificial neural network mimics and works like the neurons of the human brain, hence this name. These are a series of algorithms that perform like human brains but on a very vast and humanly impossible level. Machine learning, voice and image recognition, complex calculations are some of the examples made possible through a neural network. An artificial intelligence expert needs to know how it works and more importantly how to make it work.
Natural Language Processing
This is a very interesting sub-field of artificial intelligence. Here computers are programmed to understand, interpret, and analyze human commands in simple human language. It is just what we see or read in science fiction. Well, scientists are working day in and day out to make this an everyday reality. Artificial intelligent experts need to understand and learn this as well.
Having discussed some of the core technical skills, we now throw light on some of the non-technical skills needed for artificial intelligence experts. These are;
Artificial intelligence seeks to revolutionize the way we see and do things. It asks for creative, out-of-the-box solutions for everyday problems. Therefore, an artificial intelligence expert needs to have an analytical mind. He should be able to see things from a new perspective with a new light. That will help him gain new highs in his career.
Communication and presentation skills
An artificial intelligence expert needs to communicate and present his ideas coherently and succinctly. He will be working alongside many non-technical persons, he should be able to come to their level and present his line of action so they can follow his reasoning. This is important otherwise everyone will be struggling to understand and the project would stall.
Besides his field, the artificial intelligence expert needs to have a broad knowledge of the industry he is serving. Artificial intelligence already has stakes in a lot of industries and it is likely to only grow with time. So the challenges, opportunities, threats, a particular industry is facing should be known to the artificial intelligence expert so that he can make a well-informed decision and come up with more meaningful solutions.
Artificial intelligence is the way to the future. It is going to transform our lives to a scale and extent never seen before. It is a booming sector and will continue to grow in the years to come. It is about time you learn a skill or two related to artificial intelligence to make your mark in the job market.