- ChatGPT and new search engines from Google and Microsoft have increased interest in AI.
- Some companies are considering how to use the technology for specific business needs.
- Insider spoke to five experts to find out what companies look for when recruiting in this space.
The hype surrounding ChatGPT and new search engines from Google and Microsoft is increasing interest in artificial intelligence across all industries.
The AI industry is huge and includes not only lively chatbots and conversational search engines, but also things like self-driving vehicles. The excitement surrounding OpenAI’s ChatGPT has already prompted some companies to consider how to use the technology for specific business needs. For example, several news outlets have tapped into the chatbot to generate content.
“ChatGPT is a good example of how the barriers to using AI are falling quite significantly and very quickly,” Matthew Forshaw, a senior skills advisor at the Alan Turing Institute, Insider said.
For many companies, tools like ChatGPT, managed by staff with knowledge of AI technology and ethics, could help, Forshaw said.
Big tech companies have laid off tens of thousands of workers in recent months, but workers with AI skills are still in demand. Jim Monroe of Ada, an automation company specializing in customer service, said many companies “still prioritize AI roles, both when hiring and when executing layoffs.”
Insider spoke to five experts about getting into the field. Here is her best advice for job seekers.
1. Build a solid foundation in math and computer science
A solid understanding of technical skills surrounding deep learning can help candidates land higher-paying AI roles.
Many high-paying jobs in the AI industry, like data scientists and machine learning engineers, typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in a technical field like computer science or math, experts previously told Insider.
Highly skilled data scientists and core AI specialists with technical expertise are still in high demand despite recent layoffs, Forshaw said.
Ngaire Moyes, LinkedIn’s UK country manager, told Insider that “machine learning engineer” has been one of LinkedIn’s fastest-growing jobs in the UK over the past two years.
“As AI continues to become embedded in the everyday lives of many organizations, this is a trend that we expect to continue to grow,” she said.
Some experts also recommend learning programming languages and becoming familiar with AI frameworks, the programming interfaces that serve as building blocks for training and deploying AI models.
“Candidates must have basic programming skills at some level,” said Ada’s Monroe. “Java, Python, PHP, C or Ruby programming skills would be fairly common. Natural language processing is very hot right now, but data science and data analytics skills are still in high demand.”
Math and statistical analysis are also important skills for many AI roles, Monroe said. There is an analytical component for correlating data and predictability to ensure the AI presents the right answers or results in specific business cases, such as: B. Customer service chatbots, he said.
2. Demonstrate your ability to solve real world problems
Polo Chau, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Computational Science and Engineering, told Insider that job applicants need to be able to articulate how classroom learning translates to the real world. “You need to connect the practical applications of your knowledge to the specific problems your audience is trying to solve,” he said.
For example, let’s say you participated in a hackathon where you built machine learning programs using various statistical techniques. You should be able to explain to hiring managers how you developed, invented or adapted techniques that resulted in significant improvement and that can be applied to solve a problem, Chau said.
“If you speak to a logistics company that is trying to improve how packages are routed, you can talk about speed improvements. If you’re talking to a healthcare company trying to figure out patient eligibility for trials, you can talk about fair improvements. If you’re talking to a retailer who’s trying to understand customer trends, you can talk about accuracy improvements,” Chau said.
3. Develop strong presentation skills and cultivate an empathetic mindset
The most successful candidates have strong communication and presentation skills, Chau said.
“During the pandemic, a lot of things were virtual, so people didn’t have the opportunity to present their work in front of a live audience,” he said. “To present on a screen when everyone is in a tiny box requires a different communication style and energy.”
Now that many conferences and networking events are happening in person again, candidates need to perfect their elevator pitches. This is true for people looking to work in AI, but it’s also good advice for job seekers in general. “You must have prepared a brief synopsis of what you did,” he said. “And you have to practice it.”
A collaborative and empathetic approach is also key, Asu Ozdaglar, head of MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, told Insider. “You need to understand technical concepts surrounding machine learning, algorithms, and decision making, but you also need to ask yourself, ‘How should these decisions take human context into account?'”
The growing popularity of ChatGPT illustrates this point, Ozdaglar said. “In many cases, these tools are used to improve human decision-making. So if they are used, they must not only be effective and efficient, but also reliable, fair and just.”
4. Prioritize networking by attending events
As the AI arms race heats up in Silicon Valley, connectivity is critical to the industry breakthrough.
Brianne Kimmel, a venture capitalist who founded Silicon Valley-based venture firm Worklife Ventures, said many of the conversations about AI are happening at small dinner parties or self-funded weekend hackathons. So it can feel like AI is limited to insiders, she said.
“The technology is accessible to everyone and no longer limited to graduate students working at Google, but deals are being closed quickly and quietly,” Kimmel said.
Still, Kimmel — who recently launched a boot camp for AI startups — suggests it’s best to jump in and learn alongside early developers. This is especially true for those looking to get into AI in areas like marketing, sales, or as non-technical staff, as no formal training is required.
“My usual presentation of the problem is that we’re all figuring this out together,” Kimmel said. She invited a dozen female techs to a recent OpenAI hackathon, though not all of them were ready to make the leap to full-time AI.
“I think it’s super important to come and learn about the technology and just listen and watch what types of companies are being built,” Kimmel said. “If you decide to exit a company in six months or 12 months, you will have insight into what has already been built and areas with white space for starting a venture-scale company.”