The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expanding fast. Recently, IIT Madras has collaborated with Applied Materials India to research in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Data Sciences, and Machine Learning (ML). Some of the research areas that have been identified here include advanced image analysis for technology-enabled software solutions and representational neural networks.
IIT Kharagpur is ready to launch a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Artificial Intelligence that will promote the education, training, research, and entrepreneurship in the field.
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After steam, electricity, and computers, industry regards arrival of artificial intelligence as the fourth industrial revolution in the world of technology. AI refers to the development of computer systems that are traditionally considered the ‘human’ domain, such as speech recognition, visual perception, translation of languages, and the ability to make decisions. The Internet of Things (IoT) and the increasing use of smart devices have opened up new career opportunities in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Here are some of the ways in which you can enter this new innovative field of artificially intelligent machines and robots and become a leader in the field:
Get Your B.Tech Degree
When you want to deal with machines and robots, you will have to become an Engineer first. If you are in India, you’ll have to start with choosing PCM (Physics, Chemistry, and Math) in Class 11 and doing a rigorous JEE preparation. As discussed above, IIT Madras and IIT Kharagpur are some of the best entry-points to learn about the AI field but other engineering disciplines which can lead to an AI career include:
- Computer Science and Engineering,
- Electrical Engineering, and
- Electronics and Electrical Communications Engineering.
The AI field is entirely new, and at this stage, the AI career almost always means that you will end up researching the fields of Machine Learning or Deep Learning. It will be a good idea to do Master courses in the AI field from IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IISc Bangalore, University of Hyderabad, and IIT Kolkata in India or one of the top universities abroad.
A strong Math background, a Ph.D. degree in the field, publishing a paper on high-profile conferences like Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) can make it very easy for you to find a good job in the field of Artificial intelligence.
Join an AI Startup or Opt for Industry Internships
Those with an entrepreneurial spirit and the risk-taking capacity can start their venture and start building what they want. Or you can consider joining upcoming unicorn startups with a great product, great team, great plan – and investors. It is not easy to find people to invest in AI-related fields because it is still an ‘unknown’ field when it comes to business economics.
The truth is that building AI products are very hard. For a fresher, an internship or a job with a startup can be an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience. Remember that though AI is a new field, it is highly competitive. If you have a CS background and necessary ML skills, it is easier to find an internship or job of your choice.
Be an Expert of a Unique Field of Your Interest
Coding is one of the pre-requisites of building AI software. Python is a growing field these days. There are many websites these days that are offering free Python tutorials, such as LearnPython and CodeAcademy. You can use them to pick up the skills that can make your CV stand out for the potential employers.
Industry experience in heavy computation, knowledge of what Deep Learning is about and how it works, expertise in specialized fields like TensorFlow or Theano are some of the other things that can catch the eyes of leaders of the area. You might also pick up a particular function such as speech recognition or Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and try to build up your skills in that field.
Learn by Doing – Learning from AI Experts
All those who want to enter the field of ML and AI will find that several high-quality open-source tools and libraries are available online. Besides, many new online courses and blog posts can help you learn whatever expertise you’ve chosen for yourself.
One way to stay focused on your learning trajectory is to choose a problem and try to solve it actively. The problem you select should have readily-available data that you can work on using the single machine you have. Kaggle, for example, is an excellent place to participate in a competition series and actively engage in data sciences and machine learning. You can start with simple problems with reading data, processing it into a fundamental machine learning problem, and evaluate your results. Then, work to improve the solution, share it with others, and get feedback from them.
It is a great way to build your ML portfolio and build teams with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds. You may also consider getting involved with data-related community service opportunities to gain more experience in the field.
Thousands of vacancies in the high-tech fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are looking for qualified engineers with adequate skills. It is the right time to work your way up in the industry and make the change happen!
About Aditya Singhal, he is the co-founder of AskIItians, an online coaching platform for IIT JEE, Medical, and School Entrance exams. It is his passion and vision to help the engineering and medical aspirants that he along with his co-founder started with this venture. He had worked with Kurt Salmon Associates, a reputed American Management Consultancy.