Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (2022)

Artificial intelligence is central to the ongoing tech revolution, and it’s getting smarterall the time. The driving force behind computer vision, speech analysis and natural language processing, AIimpactsindustry and society in numerous ways — and will continue to do so far into the future.

It’s nosurprise, then, that the AI field is rife with careeropportunities — so many of them, in fact, that the sector now faces a unique challenge: There aretoo many jobs and too few qualified candidates. On the up side, that means it offers virtually guaranteed (and well-paying)employment for those who’ve got the goods.

Lisa Bertagnoli contributed reporting to this story.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career?

The field of artificial intelligence has a tremendous career outlook, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 31.4 percent, by 2030, increase in jobs for data scientists and mathematical science professionals, which are crucial to AI.

AI also includes intriguing subfields such as computer vision, and it encompasses machine learning, which is teaching machines to perfect and improve skills on their own. Machine learning jobs are expected to be worth $31 billion by 2024, a growth of 40 percent over six years, according to a Forbes estimate.

AI also offers the ability to work in a variety of fields and with life-changingtechnology. AI helps medical professionals find and diagnose diseases. Transportation uses AI in technology such as self-driving vehicles, businesses use AI to crunch and analyze performance figures and manufacturers use AI to assemble equipment. The jobs pay well, with an average base salary of $125,000 a year, and an AI career is future-proof because it is a component of so many cutting-edge, forward-thinking advancements.

So how does one get into AI, and what doesan artificial intelligence career path look like?We asked some of the field’s top expertsto share insights from their journey tohelp guide the way. They include Satya Mallick, founder of Big Vision LLC and interim CEO of OpenCV.org; Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logistics; and Joanna Bryson, former associate professor of computer science at the University of Bath in England and now professor of ethics and technology at the Hertie School in Berlin, Germany.

How Did You Get Into the AI field?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (1)Satya Mallick
Founder, Big Vision LLC/Interim CEO, OpenCV.org

I stumbled upon computer vision (a branch of AI) as an undergrad at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India) around 1999-2000. I saw one of my seniors doing a robotics project where he used cameras to help the robots “see.”I found the idea so fascinating that I decided to apply to PhDprograms in computer vision and machine learning after my undergrad.

(Video) Harsh Reality of AI Jobs No one Tells You|

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (2)Jana Eggers
CEO, Nara Logics

I was researching conductivity in plastics at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the early ’90s, and neural networks and genetic algorithms were tools I used for some of my work. When I left research and went into business, I landed at a startup doing expert systems for logistics. After that, I went to one of the original search engines, Lycos. So basically, because I was always in cutting-edge technology, some form of AI was typically the right tool for the job I was working on.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (3)Joanna Bryson
Professor of ethics and technology
Hertie School, Berlin, Germany

My first degree was in non-clinical psychology from the University ofChicago. And I also was good at programming, so I worked in the computer science department there. I was interested in AI, but the first time that anyone taught it was the year after I graduated. But they let me tutor it anyway.So then I spent five years in Chicago paying off my undergraduate debt. And it was right at the period where we saw computing decentralized. PCs were starting to become a thing, and we were figuring out that not every computer needs to know everything. And I had decided that I never wanted to be a professional programmer, so I went back to graduate school for artificial intelligence. I wanted to go to MIT, but I chose Edinburghbecause I wanted to go abroadbut I couldn’t speak any languages. I was lucky at that point, because it was the only place that in 1991 that would have given me a master’s degree in AI. From there, I found out about Rod Brooks[at MIT] and behavior-based AI — the idea that rather than trying to understand everything, you hadspecialist sub-parts of a robot that understood different problems. And then a few of us decided we would try to get into MIT and work with Brooks.

What Is the Scope of Your Work in AI?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (4)Mallick:I work in the field of computer vision, probably the most important sub-field of AI. In computer vision, our goal is to make machines make sense of the world by image and video analysis.I run a computer vision and machine learning consulting company called Big Vision LLC and a popular blog called LearnOpenCV.com.

At my consulting company, we tackle a variety of computer vision problems ranging from detecting parasites in horse feces to identifying the model of high-end fashion bags in user uploaded images.Our biggest project involved OCR and fraud detection in ID documents. In addition, we have worked on security applications involving intrusion detection, vision applications for urban warfare, sports analyticsand biomedical devices.I am also the Interim CEO of OpenCV.org which maintains the largest computer vision library in the world (OpenCV). We just launched a Kickstarter campaign for threeAI courses. It is doing very well.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (5)Eggers: Nara Logics provides an AI platform for large enterprises and the federal government that focuses on decision support. Much of deep learning is focused on perception —recognizing images, understanding language —we focus on the next stage decisions from what’s perceived. Our platform helps bring together the perception streams of vision, language, sensors, etc. to support better decisions, from what to show to a customer (personalization) to how to prioritize operations (decision support).

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (6)Bryson:For my PhD, I wanted to do psychology, but I wound up [in AI] at MIT. So I focused on something called systems AI, which is basically about how to make it easierto build AI. There arelot of people that focus on one magic algorithm that’ll beat the other algorithms,but I noticed that we already had a lot of capabilities and that the real problem was putting them together — the engineering side of it. So that was what I focused on. And now it has become a really big deal. Systems engineering is actually a discipline that makes thing safe, going back well before AI.

I’m also still trying to understand human cooperation andthe evolution of cognition — when we use it and when we don’t — so I’m focusing a lot on understanding the different [ways] in which people cooperate and help each other out, and when they don’t. We’re working on a paper right now about why political polarization is well correlated with wealth inequality. How do they interact together? Then, of course, there’s AI ethics. I’m spending all my time running around doing policy work, so just talking to people and trying to connect the dots. I think of it as just taking the best stuff I’ve heard and putting it all in one place, but other people see it as very innovative.

(Video) This AI says it's conscious and experts are starting to agree. w Elon Musk.

View All Jobs

What’s Most Rewarding About Your Work?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (7)Mallick:One of the luminaries in our field, Dr. Andrew Ng, has compared AI to electricity. It is transforming multiple industries, and it is hugely rewarding to be part of this revolution. Some of the applications we have built remove drudgery from common tasks, some keep us safe, and still others in the medical domain improve health and even save lives. As a practitioner of this craft, it is deeply satisfying to see your work make a difference.

The other part that provides a lot of meaning to my life is my work as a teacher of online courses. At OpenCV.org, we are on a mission to train the global workforce in AI.This is an emerging field, and we are totally aware AI will cause the loss of many jobs through automation. So it is our responsibility to help people upgrade their skills and teach them what we learn through the practice of our craft.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (8)Eggers:Enabling our customers to use their data to see forward versus analyze backwards.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (9)Bryson:It’s just intrinsically interesting, understanding how intelligence works. I guess that’s my biggest internal reward, though I do also like to be helpful.

Which Aspects of Your Work Are the Most Challenging?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (10)Mallick:Challenges in AI come in many different forms.First, we have technical challenges. Sometimes we do not have enough data.At other times, the data is available but it’s extremely noisy, or not labeled in a way that can be easily used. In a few cases, people vastly underestimate the irreducible uncertainty of a problem —predicting elections is one such problem domain.Second, we have ethical challenges with no good answers. For example, would you use an AI that helps 99 percentof the people, but is heavily biased against onepercent? Removing bias from your data is extremely challenging.

(Video) Jeff Dean: AI isn't as smart as you think -- but it could be | TED

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (11)Eggers:Demystifying AI for customers. They are both intrigued and frustrated by the hype and mystique around AI. Our focus is quickly getting our customers from proof of concept to production.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (12)Bryson:It’s weird things, like[schedule] coordination. Because everything is interesting and everything is challenging and you never know when you’re going to have a conversation that will help make a big difference.

More on AI Innovation44 Artificial Intelligence Companies to Watch in 2021

What Are Crucial First Steps to Pursue an AI Career?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (13)Mallick:To have a technical career in AI, you first need to have good programming skills. The programming language Python has become the default choice for AI researchers and engineers.Although depending on the domain, knowledge of C++ may be required.If you are already a good programmer, the next step is to find an online course that can teach you the basics and gradually move you to mastery. There are several good choices like courses by OpenCV.org, Coursera, Udacityand DeepLearning.ai.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (14)Eggers:Understanding that the tech is the easiest part of AI. The data and the results are both more critical. And those are both driven by the organization.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (15)Bryson:Doing post-grad education, even if it’s only a master’s, to get insights from another discipline. When I was an undergraduate, as people graduated they were more likely to go into the careers that they had [experienced] in summer jobs than in their majors.So when you’re looking for a job, it’s really important that you bring in at least some of the skills [the company] needs and that you’re [also] giving them something. But look for [experience] that’s going to take you at least part of the way to where you want to go. Get your hands dirty doing any amount of work in programming or data analytics or whatever. If you’re at a university, there’s a billion little jobs that you can get just so you have some experience. That helps a lot.

How Valuable is Post-Secondary Education? What About Graduate Degrees?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (16)Mallick:There are two huge benefits of a college education.First, it provides structure to the learning process. Without this structure in place, it is easy to get lost in confusion or lose motivation.Second, completing a college degree signals a level of competence in the job market.That said, increasingly people care more about the portfolio of work you have done and less about your resume. When a student releases their code on GitHub on a regular basis, we see first hand what they are learning and how good they are. If some of their work is unique and creative, I personally would not care about their college degree.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (17)Eggers:As a PhD drop-out, my perspective is that a graduate degree grants you respect — andthere are other ways of earning that respect. So it really depends on you and what you value. You can succeed either way.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (18)Bryson:Not every Ph.D. is worth doing. Especially in America right now, there area lot of people who will sell you a degree that isn’t necessarily going to help you.Getting a degree now is partly about getting an education and partly about being in a cohortof people that are really trying to understand things, like I was at Edinburgh and MIT. They used to say a master’s degree is the best thing to have if you’re going to go out into industry, but you want a PhDif you’re going to work in government labs or the top drawer of industrial labs — or if you want to be an academic yourself.

(Video) AI and Machine Learning | Rise of AI Robots | AI 2022 | ElonMusk BillGates SundarPichai|Simplilearn

Are Certain College Degrees Better Than Others?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (19)Mallick:Absolutely. A degree from Stanford in AI is worth a lot more than many other universities because you get to work with top researchers who are at the cutting edge of AI research. The choice of your major also makes a huge difference.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (20)Eggers:AI needs all degrees involved. However, basic tech understanding is crucial to participate.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (21)Bryson:Wehave great students comingto do our master’s degree [at Bath], and often the ones who wound up being the best were those coming from a psychology base. So psychology isa great degree. Math and physics will help you get into machine learning, but they don’t necessarily give you the whole perspective on what’s going on.Thinking about the dynamics of change is really important for understanding society. I’m valuable because I actually build AI and understand how it works,but I also understand how society works.

More on AIWhat Can’t AI Do?

What Resources Provide More Insight Into AI Careers?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (22)Mallick:Unfortunately, good answers are spread across many different pages on the internet.There are three large application areas in AI: computer vision,speech analysis and natural language processing.Each one requires a different learning path. So, I would suggest people Google those terms and see what interests them. Here is a list of some blogs that people may find interesting (biased toward computer vision, because that is my area of expertise): LearnOpenCV.com; TowardsDataScience.com; MachineLearningMastery.com; PyImageSearch.com.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (23)Eggers:This depends on how you learn and where you want to focus. Examples: Critical islearning how to develop tech products —my go to book for this is Marty Cagan’s Inspired. I also recommend O’Reilly’s AI conference because of the breath of material covering tech, research, business, ethics, etc. You can get access to the conference materials via their learning platform.If you want to be more on the R&D side of AI, you have resources like arxiv to keep up with the latest research.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (24)Bryson:If they have specific questions, I usually point them at particular blog posts or papers. It’s so easy to do research now that everybody has access to Google Scholar. Even if you hit a paywall,you’re likely going to find that someone has put the PDF online.

What Are the Prospects for Advancement in AI Careers?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (25)Mallick:AI is a rocket ship that is taking off. Even entry-level jobs are insanely lucrative, paying two timesor more compared to regular programming jobs. The reason is a huge demand for AI talent and not enough people with the right expertise. In the long run, these salary levels may not be sustainable, but people who get on this rocket ship in the next fiveyears or so will have amazing careers financially as well as in terms of the quality of work.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (26)Eggers:I don’t see AI as being different from any other leading-edge tech. You have an ability to jump around from company to company (which can be good and bad) because companies are always looking for people with experience. You have the challenge that your own company might be slower to move forward than you want. Basically, there is a fine line between leading edge and bleeding edge.

(Video) क्या ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE हम सभी को ख़तम करदेगा? | WIll AI Kill Us All...

How Will the AI Field Change, Shortand Long Term?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (27)Mallick:With our current level of understanding of AI, we can solve many problems in several industries. The short term game is all about data. The organizations that acquire the most data will always have a huge advantage over those that don’t. One does not need a team of elite researchers to solve these problems — we only need a large quantity of high-quality data and good engineers.In the long term, though, we need elite researchers for technical breakthroughs. Currently, the most successful AI algorithms do not learn by themselves. They are taught by humans by the painstaking process of collecting and labeling data. The next breakthrough in AI will occur when machines learn by themselves by observing the world, much like humans do today.

Is Artificial Intelligence a Good Career? These AI Professionals Think So. (28)Eggers:Companies are now getting more serious about AI delivering results versus “tests.”The longer term change in the field will be the widening of the aperture of AI —a longer depth of field into business.

FAQs

Is artificial intelligence a good career? ›

Artificial intelligence offers a wider array of job profiles from the beginner to the expert level. You can be an AI, ML developer, or Data scientist if you carve for high-end technical jobs. Or you can be a computer vision engineer, robotics engineer, or Business analyst depending upon your interests in the field.

Is artificial intelligence a good career for the future? ›

The current AI job outlook is quite promising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects computer science and information technology employment to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029. This will add about 531,200 new jobs in the industry.

Is artificial intelligence worth studying? ›

Pros of Master's in AI Degrees

An AI graduate degree proves to employers that you are trained and qualified to work in this evolving field. You will develop the skills needed to work in your field of interest, whether it is AI, machine learning, data science, or something else.

How AI affect our life? ›

AI touches every aspect of our personal and professional online lives today. Global communication and interconnectivity in business is, and continues to be, a hugely important area. Capitalising on artificial intelligence and data science is essential, and its potential growth trajectory is limitless.

Why artificial intelligence is the future of growth? ›

Why Is Artificial Intelligence Important? AI is important because it forms the very foundation of computer learning. Through AI, computers have the ability to harness massive amounts of data and use their learned intelligence to make optimal decisions and discoveries in fractions of the time that it would take humans.

What should I study for artificial intelligence? ›

A bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, such as information technology, computer engineering, statistics, or data science, is the very minimum needed for entry into the area of artificial intelligence engineering.

Are artificial intelligence jobs in demand? ›

AI and machine learning jobs have jumped by almost 75 percent over the past four years and are poised to keep growing. Pursuing a machine learning job is a solid choice for a high-paying career that will be in demand for decades.

What are roles in AI career? ›

AI Engineers are responsible to build AI models using machine learning algorithms and deep learning neural networks to draw business insights. These insights can be used to make business decisions that affect the entire organization. So, your role as an AI Engineer is crucial for the entire organization.

How do I start a career in artificial intelligence? ›

Many employers prefer applicants with a master's degree in computer science or higher. Traditional education can provide a strong framework for a career in AI. Earning a postgraduate degree can also help you apply a fresh, well-rounded perspective to AI.

Which is the best career in the world? ›

The Top 6 Highest Paying Jobs in the World
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
4 Oct 2022

Which IT field has highest salary? ›

Here are some of the highest paying IT jobs in 2023:
  • Data Scientist.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Architect.
  • Big Data Engineer.
  • Software Architect.
  • Blockchain Engineer.
  • DevOps Engineer.
  • Cloud Architect.
  • Full-Stack Developer.
11 Oct 2022

Are artificial intelligence jobs in demand? ›

AI and machine learning jobs have jumped by almost 75 percent over the past four years and are poised to keep growing. Pursuing a machine learning job is a solid choice for a high-paying career that will be in demand for decades.

Is artificial intelligence difficult? ›

Learning AI is not an easy task, especially if you're not a programmer, but it's imperative to learn at least some AI. It can be done by all. Courses range from basic understanding to full-blown master's degrees in it.

Is AI better than CSE? ›

The answer is simple. If a person like the intelligence part of computers and machine building, then he should opt for AI, but if the person is more interested in the conceptual and orthodox studies about computers and its models, then he must definitely opt for CS as his carrier path.

What is the salary of an AI engineer? ›

The entry-level annual average AI engineer salary in India is around 8 lakhs, which is significantly higher than the average salary of any other engineering graduate. At high-level positions, the AI engineer salary can be as high as 50 lakhs.

Videos

1. The danger of AI is weirder than you think | Janelle Shane
(TED)
2. This intense AI anger is exactly what experts warned of, w Elon Musk.
(Digital Engine)
3. Stunning AI shows how it would kill 90%. w Elon Musk.
(Digital Engine)
4. EP14 爱人离世你愿意把TA记忆交给AI吗?詹青云黄执中神仙对辩 胡老师辩论如同课堂教学| 奇葩说6 I CAN I BB S6 FULL| iQIYI精选
(iQIYI 综艺精选)
5. What Is Artificial Intelligence? | 🔥Artificial Intelligence Course | AI In 5 Minutes | |Simplilearn
(Simplilearn)
6. 10 JOBS That AI Will Replace By 2030 | AI Can Destroy Your Career | Teenagers, Students, College
(Ayushman Pandita)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated: 11/26/2022

Views: 5811

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.