This one article was originally published on .cult by Saudamani Singh. .sect is a Berlin-based developer community platform. We write about all things career, create original documentaries and share countless other untold stories from developers around the world.
If you’ve ever used Alexa or Siri, sat in a self-driving car, talked to a chatbot, or even saw something recommended by Netflix, you’ve come across artificial intelligence, or AI, as it’s commonly known.
Al is a major driver of the world’s progress in nearly every field, including healthcare, finance, entertainment and transportation. Simply put, artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to learn like humans, making problem-solving decisions and performing tasks that would otherwise require multiple individuals to invest long hours of work.
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Are you thinking of a career in this exciting field? We’re here to answer all your AI-related questions so you can bring humanity one step closer to planting Elon Musk’s neuralink chips in our brains and curing blindness! Or just create a chatbot.
Eight skills you need to become an AI engineer
AI engineers perform a variety of tasks that would fly right over the layman’s head. Honestly, creating and implementing machine learning algorithms sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. In order to do that, here are some skills every AI engineer should have:
Creating deep-learning models that analyze patterns requires a good understanding of analytics. Being very grounded with analytics will help with AI testing and configuration.
2. Applied Mathematics
We suspect that if you’re interested in artificial intelligence engineering, you probably don’t hate math, as it’s at the heart of all things AI. An understanding of gradient descent, quadratic programming, and things like convex optimization is necessary.
3. Statistics and Algorithms
Working with algorithms requires an adequate understanding of statistics. AI engineers should be well versed in topics such as standard deviation, probability, and models such as Hidden Markov and Naive Bayes.
4. Language skills
Yes, no surprises here. You need to be fluent in a number of languages to be a successful AI engineer. The most popular language among artificial intelligence engineers is Python, but it often proves too little on its own. It is important to have proficiency in multiple languages such as C, C++ and Java.
5. Problem-solving and communication skills
AI engineers need to think outside the box. You will find that there is no set of rules or guidelines that you can adhere to if you are ever in trouble. AI often requires innovative use of machine learning models and creative thinking. You should also be able to convey these ideas to your colleagues who may not have enough knowledge on the subject.
6. Neural Network Knowledge
Another important skill you need is efficiency with neural networks. A neural network is software that works similar to a human brain and helps with pattern recognition, solving complex problems, and performing image classification, which is a big part of how we use AI. AI engineers often spend a lot of time working with neural networks; so a good understanding of the subject is required.
7. Team management
You probably work independently. However, some aspects also allow you to communicate with people, rather than just machines. As an AI engineer, you have to communicate your ideas to many other engineers and developers. That is why communication and management skills come in handy. So while you’re solving math equations to prepare for your career, make sure you’re doing it with those around you.
8. Cloud Knowledge
Of the many tricks AI engineers should have under their belts, they have a good idea of what cloud architecture is, says there. Cloud architecture is much more than just managing storage space, and knowing the difference between which secure storage system is best suited for your project is very helpful.
The Average Salary for an AI Engineer in 2020
The salary an AI engineer earns depends on experience, certification and the location where they work, but in general they get paid fairly well. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for AI engineers in the US is: $114,121 per year as of 2020. Other sources claim that the salary for experienced AI engineers goes up to $248,625. It sounds like you can afford your dream home in Silicon Valley in no time.
As an AI engineer, your job is by no means monotonous. Every day there are new challenges and opportunities for innovative implementations of AI technology. The demands and skills required may seem intimidating, but the rewards and compensation make it all worth it.