John R. Platt, The Institute (The IEEE news source), June 13, 2016
Thousands of openings in artificial intelligence and machine learning posted on job boards are going unfilled. In fact, though AI is one of the fastest-growing areas for high-tech professionals, according to a recent Kiplinger report, there are too few qualified engineers.
“Supply is far lower than demand,” says Boris Babenko, a machine vision engineer at Orbital Insight, a company in Palo Alto, Calif., that uses AI to make sense of data gathered from satellite images. “That’s true of all software engineering, but AI is a niche on top of that.”
The need for AI specialists exists in just about every field as companies seek to give computers the ability to think, learn, and adapt. “If you look hard enough, any industry you can think of has a need for AI and machine learning,” says Geoff Gordon, acting head of the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh.
“My advice to those interested in working in AI is to network, attend events, and follow industry news closely—become part of the industry conversation,” says Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logics, a synaptic intelligence company in Cambridge, Mass., that combines neuroscience and computer science. “It is the best way for you to assess your fit with a company, as well as to learn of professional opportunities.”