A decade ago, any device with artificial intelligence (AI) awed us a great deal. Though robots and smartphones have been around for more than 10 years now, there weren’t very common back then. Only mega-corporations benefited from those smart machines, while the masses enjoyed simpler mobile games and apps.
“As the years went on, phones became smarter, until they are able to predict our behaviors. Search for a brand on Google once, and ads of it would fill your social media feeds for the next few days.”
Mobile devices are now so sophisticated that they can also perform tasks humans would normally do. For example, check your heart and pulse rate. Before, you’d measure those either by feeling the beats through your fingertips or going to the doctor. Now, just wear a smartwatch, and even the number of your footsteps will be counted.
Who makes these devices, and what extraordinary skills do they have? Well, like any other professional, AI creators also gained their skills through the right degree and experience. But you don’t necessarily have to wait until college to start tinkering with an electronic device. If you have a gift for inventing machines, maybe you could be the next AI prodigy.
Being an Artificial Intelligence Specialist
People who deal with AI devices are usually called AI specialists. They work on systems that collect information, make decisions, and act on the information. Some AI specialists focus on cognitive stimulation, wherein they use computers to analyze how the human brain works. They can also work on expert systems, which are used in medicine, law, accounting, and geology applications.
Responsibilities of an AI specialist are the following:
- Develop AI models and discuss their benefits to their managers and colleagues
- Identify what their organization is lacking, so that they can develop a system that will provide their organization’s unmet needs
- Design training manuals and create online learning materials for their colleagues
- Administrative tasks, such as calculating the costs of developing an AI system, and setting up systems and equipment
- Convert machine learning models to Application Program Interfaces (API)
- Develop the facilities for data ingestion and data transformation
- Automate processes required for data collection
- Perform statistical analysis on the systems that have developed
- Create and manage preexisting AI systems
Indeed, a typical day of an AI specialist can be loaded. If their responsibilities aren’t right up your alley, consider these other high-paying AI jobs:
- Machine learning engineer (Average salary: $142,859)
- Data scientist (Average salary: $126,927)
- Computer vision engineer (Average salary: $126,400)
- Data warehouse architect (Average salary: $126,008)
- Algorithm engineer (Average salary: $109,313)
Qualifications of an Artificial Intelligence Job
An educational background in basic computer technology and mathematics form the foundation of most AI programs. Your coursework should include the following:
- Mathematics, including statistics, calculus, probability, linear algebra, logic, and algorithms
- Bayesian networking or graphical modeling
- Physics,computer engineering, and robotics
- Computer science, programming, and coding
- Cognitive science theory
As for your skills, you should possess the following:
- Analytical thought process
- Foresight about technological innovations
- Technical skills to design, maintain, and troubleshoot software programs
- Ability to translate highly technical information
- Knowledge of big data technologies
- Knowledge of algorithms and frameworks
Other Careers in Artificial Intelligence
Your expertise doesn’t have to lie in computers alone to thrive in the AI industry. You can also be a graphic designer, medical professional, or digital musician. In time, a software tool that can create paintings, sculptures, symphonies, and stories will be born. Hence, a graphic designer’s and digital musician’s computers will become an extension of themselves.
Medical professionals who specialize in artificial limbs, of course, also need broad AI knowledge to improve their craft. AI is also essential in the development of assistive devices, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and visual restoration devices.
Speaking of AI in the medical field, a 13-year-old boy from Mexico actually invented a device that can detect early signs of breast cancer in women. Julian Rios Cantu, the inventor, witnessed his mother fight breast cancer, which had caused both of her breasts to be removed. Cantu’s mother won the fight, but he couldn’t let other women face the same ordeal when they can prevent the worst of their disease.
Hence, he invented the EVA bra. It has sensors that can detect changes in skin elasticity and temperature, which help tell if there’s a symptom of breast cancer. After use, the data collected by the EVA bra is sent to his company, Higia Technologies, where they’d calculate the person’s risk using an AI algorithm.
Julian Cantu’s story proves that you’re neither too old nor too young to start a career in AI. If you think it’s your calling to change the world using technology, nurture your prowess. Education is only there to enhance your existing skills and intelligence. It’s not your only ticket to the industry.