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AI Experts In High Demand 78

An anonymous reader writes: The field of artificial intelligence is getting hotter by the moment as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and other tech companies snap up experts and pour funding into university research. Commercial uses for AI are still limited. Predictive text and Siri, the iPhone's voice-recognition feature, are early manifestations. But AI's potential has exploded as the cost of computing power drops and as the ability to collect and process data soars. Big tech companies like Facebook and Google now vacuum up the huge amount of data that needs to be processed to help machines make "intelligent" decisions. The relationship between tech giants and academia can be difficult to navigate. Some faculty members complain tech companies aren't doing enough in the many collaborative efforts now under way. One big gripe: Companies aren't willing to share the vast data they are able to collect.
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AI Experts In High Demand

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  • by deodiaus2 ( 980169 ) on Monday May 04, 2015 @11:38AM (#49612325)
    Getting a job with AI is still limited. Companies don't trust it. Spooky sounding tech scares managers and business decision makers. Better off calling it a statistic driven predictor
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tech people don't understand it either. Just look at the article in Slashdot the other day about guessing age. It gets it wrong some times. Wow. That's kind of the point. Cars driven by an AI will crash sometimes too. And financial AI systems will make the same kind of mistakes humans make, in addition to the ordinary bugs. The technology has its place. But it isn't something that magically does the right thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        The technology has its place. But it isn't something that magically does the right thing.

        It only has to be slightly less stupid than typical humans, and/or cost less than humans. It may also need more trace-ability, such as knowing why it gave an answer it did. With humans you can ask and usually get an answer such as "we always did it this way", "that way usually works for me", or "because the alternative confuses the sales team", etc.

        But career-wise AI has had multiple boom/bust cycles as the usual hype-

    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday May 04, 2015 @12:51PM (#49613005)

      The term "AI" dropped out of favor a decade ago as a result of a lot of over-promising and under-delivering from the decade before that. Remember "expert systems"? Yeah, that was "AI" in a different guise. It looks like the term "AI" is making a bit of a comeback. I'm not sure that's a good thing, because it never really describes these systems adequately, as "intelligence" has very little to do with it.

  • That's like throwing money away!

  • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Monday May 04, 2015 @11:44AM (#49612379) Homepage
    ... the companies are actually willing to look beyond H1B visa holders and low wages. If they're not yet ready to pay what a real expert costs, they're not really in high demand.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think there are two other fundamentally opposed pieces at work here:

      1) Academia: "Give me money so I can do research and publish my results to further the science"
      2) Corporations: "I'll give you money to do something specific, but don't tell anyone else about it"

      • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
        It's not that bad, but the gist is similiar.

        1) Megacorp allows to run your models on their data, and you can write paper about it
        2) But your results are not reproducible, because well, private corporate data

        Solution indeed is to put the training sets in the public domain.
  • to help machines make "intelligent" decisions

    IMHO, AI is more than just a way to profit off of individual consumers' weaknesses.

    I, and probably a lot of other people out there, would be very interested in knowing how to create a 'vacuum' program that could know it all. This power would be abused within months after creation, but at least it would be in the hands of the people, not in some giant's arms, so abuse wouldn't span too far.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      know it all

      First: Start with training examples extracted from Slashdot posts.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday May 04, 2015 @12:53PM (#49613033)

    >> AI Experts In High Demand

    What they really mean is business data-mining experts. Unfortunately AI expert just sounds cooler and is easier to say, no matter how far from the truth it is.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes. This.
      AI PhD students here. 3 of us looking for an internship for the summer, plenty of software engineering or "data scientist" positions. Nothing really relevant to AI. CV available if anyone interested. Otherwise we will just default to TA positions...

      • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
        Yes and no. Fun stuff is still done, especially in terms of computer vision and hearing - there are numerous stakeholders.

        However zero interest in actual research, it's all engineering.

        They do not want code monkeys, as you still do need a PhD-level knownledge to even design this kind of stuff, just like computers in the 60s. Thats why companies are bought and people are hired only if they have something useful to show already in applicable field.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      AI is actually far different to data analysis, it is all about different layers or levels ( ;) ) of decision making. So you start off with very simple solutions and if they are good enough you stop there, if not enough you use those outputs in the next higher or adjacent level or and add more different levels for more outputs, until your arrive at the answer. Not based upon the current level of analysis only but also on all the previous ones, it becomes a composi

  • All those 80s era AI LISPers are rejoicing.

  • Predictive text and Siri, the iPhone's voice-recognition feature, are early manifestations.

    Just remember that iPhone's voice recognition comes from Nuance, not Apple, and it's been developed over several decades. []

  • by modi123 ( 750470 ) on Monday May 04, 2015 @05:53PM (#49616325) Homepage Journal

    Awwww, man! I should have said 'yes' to that Mizzou grad school acceptance and, after ten patient years, pounce and corner it all!

  • Obviously... if it's AI, and it has some real world utility, then we rename it so that it's not AI any more. Then we complain loudly that "AI has never produced anything useful".

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay