On 14.11.2022, we had the opportunity to hear Levente Szabados, co-founder and senior advisor of Neuron Solutions, on Millásreggeli again. This time, the presenters asked him how to become an AI professional.
It’s a very valid question, especially after the many previous broadcasts about the greatness and diversity of AI and how it is very much part of our vision for the future. And in the last episode, AI was mentioned in the same breath as power, so what are we waiting for, give us the power! How can knowledge be acquired?
Levente compares the field of AI to electricity. What did it take for electricity to spread? What kind of experts were needed? We needed, of course, the basic researchers (the mad scientists) who figured out the deep stuff. Then we needed the engineers to take those abstract deep ideas and turn them into practical devices, which the electricians could then implement and install. And let us not forget the professionals who were responsible for designing the aesthetic appearance and ergonomic usability of electrical appliances.
Electricity is a good example, because professionals with very similar functions are also needed in the field of AI. There seems to be no shortage of basic researchers, whose numbers have shown a staggering increase over the past 20 years: from 52,000 in 2000, the 2019 survey found around 403,000 such scientists.
But AI engineers are still in short supply, so there is still plenty of room in the profession. So, how do we get started?
Let’s not get too heated. First we should figure out what type of AI professionals we want to be.
If you already have some related basic knowledge, such as statistics, engineering or other numerical background, you can safely retrain as a machine learning engineer. There are now also higher education options, master’s courses, market training, online courses. Or, in today’s world of open source code, you can start playing with semi-finished/finished models right away.
But Levente hopes that the number of engineers will not only grow, because there is a huge shortage of designers, people who understand technology at the right level, but have the imagination and creativity to think about what technology can be used for, what products can be developed.
And how does one who has the affinity for that get started? Are there good professionals who can teach it or can help you learn?
Unfortunately, there are no professionals/courses where you can train to become an AI designer, which is very sad, but unfortunately the field is not there yet. However, what is good news is that there are very good communities: meetups, grouping points where professionals can engage and help those interested. And this is one of Levente’s main pieces of advice, to be close to these communities, which is even more important than experimenting and playing with technology at home.
Another thing that can help design-oriented people is the emerging AI training courses specifically for managers, which do not provide engineering knowledge, but a level of utility within the company, the ability to see through processes, and possibly manage and coordinate them.
Take Levente’s advice and seize every opportunity to be close to AI communities. Follow us as we continue to come up with interesting AI topics, and we’ll let you know when our next Meetup event takes place, where you can meet us and other AI experts in person.
And you can listen to this talk in Hungarian in the Youtube video below: