Advice from successful AI experts and career resources
We kicked off January 2019 with a panel discussion on how to future-proof your career and Opportunities in AI as part of our ongoing series on the Impact of AI on society at SF AI Meetup.
The latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs report said that while new technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialized skills, they can also displace entire job categories when certain tasks become obsolete or automated. This changing landscape makes it critical for professionals to future-proof their skills to take advantage of these new opportunities.
WEF analysis found extensive evidence of accelerating demand for a variety of new specialist roles to latest emerging technologies: AI and Machine Learning Specialists, User Experience and Human-Machine Interaction Designers, Robotics Engineers and many others. While, KPMG says the top 5 new jobs in AI are AI Architect, AI Product Manager, Data Scientist, AI Technology Software Engineer, and AI Ethicists.
So we asked our expert panelists Amy Chou (AI4All), Anna Bethke (Intel), Michelle Carney (MLUX Meetup), and Nicholas Ng (H20.ai) to share their insights on new opportunities in AI, skills needed to be successful in this new AI age and useful tips on how to land your next opportunity in this space.
Overall, the panel was optimistic about the opportunities generated by AI such as AI ethicists, ML UX designers, etc. and new ones are being created every day. Since this field is still evolving, panel suggested leading with passion and proactively reaching out for opportunities rather than relying on traditional resume-posting. This includes convincing hiring managers to create a new AI role specifically for you.
Skills like problem solving are critical to success in AI and every job has elements that can be improved or enhanced by AI, which highlights the growing ubiquity of AI. When it comes to gaining experience, the panel stressed that there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty. Try experimenting with AI as a side project if your employer doesn’t utilize any AI/ML. A great way to get attention for your AI expertise is to write a blog post or post your work on GitHub.
There was overwhelming consensus that AI will not replace humans any time soon. But it will automate menial and redundant tasks and that’s a good according to the panel as it will free up time for humans to do more meaningful work.
Here’s a list of helpful resources shared by the panelists.
https://80000hours.org/ — Job advice for graduates and young professionals
www.fast.ai — Free AI courses
https://www.elementsofai.com/ — AI literacy course
Conferences/Meetups in the Bay Area:
MLUX SF @ All Turtles — February 11th
AI and Social Impact @ UC Berkeley (free) — March 1st
Berkeley AI Summit @ UC Berkeley — March 7th
Women in Tech: The Future of AI @ UC Berkeley — March 8th
Use cases & research:
http://www.wekinator.org/ — Interactive machine learning art
https://github.com/handav/workshop — Turning data into sound