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The Changing Career Landscape In AI

Science

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Researchers are­ using artificial intelligence to better understand society and find solutions to problems across diverse disciplines. And as the application of AI expands, so too do career opportunities.

In the world where data science, deep learning, and machine learning are being used to improve products and outputs in fields as far apart as astronomy, health care, transportation, security, and banking, scientists and engineers are finding that their skills are highly prized in multiple career tracks and sectors, says Maggie Johnson, vice president of Education and University Programs for Google. In a firm like Google, she notes, there are those with Ph.D.'s in highly technical AI-adjacent areas, such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, and data science.

These technical AI experts have found professional paths in R&D divisions, where they are helping different arms of their company with AI needs, and most interestingly, working in product teams across entire organizations. 

This fanning-out of AI expertise among various enterprises has naturally led to another path for Ph.D.'s: as domain experts who comprehend AI well enough to successfully apply its models to improving systems in their discipline, Johnson says. They need to have programming skills and knowledge of computer languages, such as Python, for instance—but it's more critical for them to be able to see the potential for advancing products that incorporate AI.

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