is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?

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Mr.G

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is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« on: August 26, 2019, 11:42:22 pm »
I have experience with app development and web development but no college degree and how everything is going to have AI in the future i was wondering if it was hard to brake into AI as a profession which i think is possible with my background.

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AndyGoode

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Re: is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 12:48:00 am »
I can't even break into it *with* a degree.

First you should realize that the field can be considered to be broken into two divisions: applied AI (roughly the same as narrow AI), and AGI. This is an important distinction; not knowing this distinction is why investors get ripped off, programmers get frustrated, and YouTubers make fools of themselves. Applied AI is the use of current technology (meaning primarily digital computers) to produce usable products immediately, whereas AGI is currently all theoretical because it doesn't exist yet. Applied AI is what Google does, AGI is what you see only in movies. AGI is the real thing; applied AI is just mimicry. Therefore you should make a decision as to which division you want to go into.

As for AGI, it's extremely unlikely a research lab would hire someone without a degree to do AGI research, but I believe one could get around that by making a really good AGI invention, an invention better than their researchers could make. As for applied AI, I'm guessing that it would be very easy to get a job in that, especially in machine learning, since machine learning / Deep Learning / data mining is so popular now. Companies hire programmers to program, not to understand the domain in which they program, so if you can program in the language they want (Python, Java, C++, and C# are particularly popular now) or the tool they want (like .NET), especially if you've taken a class in machine learning, then I'd say you're very likely to get hired, which would be a great start for an applied AI profession. See https://aijobs.com for a quick sampling of what applied AI companies are looking for (at least in Europe).

Everyone is waiting for a breakthrough in AGI, so when that happens I believe you almost couldn't *avoid* getting hired to work in that field, since AGI will dominate the world as an industry then. I'm guessing that being in applied AI would give you a terrific advantage for getting into AGI at that point, which in my opinion will be a field very different from IT and very different from applied AI. Virtually everyone will be starting out from scratch in that new industry at that point, though, just like you.

AGI = artificial general intelligence
GOFAI = good old fashioned artificial intelligence
IT = information technology

Why don't I get a job in applied AI then? For personal reasons I can't, but that's my own business.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 01:25:51 am by AndyGoode »

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WriterOfMinds

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Re: is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 01:27:12 am »
I thought "GOFAI" specifically applied to symbolic AI approaches, as distinct from the neural net techniques that are all the rage in applied AI today.  Both of these would, however, be examples of "narrow AI," which is pretty synonymous with applied AI (at least so far).

I'm an AI hobbyist; my job is not actually in AI.  So, I couldn't tell you from first-hand knowledge how easy it is to break into the field.  I suspect that is true of most of the frequenters of this forum; we don't get employees from Google, OpenAI, or any of the other big names here.  Infurl was a professional IRRC, but I haven't seen him around in a while.

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AndyGoode

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Re: is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 01:41:12 am »
I thought "GOFAI" specifically applied to symbolic AI approaches, as distinct from the neural net techniques that are all the rage in applied AI today.  Both of these would, however, be examples of "narrow AI," which is pretty synonymous with applied AI (at least so far).

Yes, I think that's a much better term. I might edit my post to reflect that accuracy, thanks.

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LOCKSUIT

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Re: is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 03:12:19 am »
Goaty is a GOAFAI GOLFER
Emergent

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goaty

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Re: is it hard to get a job in the AI domain without a degree?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 12:10:08 pm »
Andy Goodes advice is good.    Agreed.  Applied is the only real stuff, if you cant apply it, it probably isn't a finished theory yet.

 


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