AI job market and people - a career path worth to pick?

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AI job market and people - a career path worth to pick?
« on: August 26, 2013, 03:41:48 am »
Hi there everyone. I am wandering about trying to come back to the field of robotics and AI after choosing a career patch witch took me quite far away from the main topic of my studies (which was automatics and robotics). Well, to be honest the 'AI' part of it was truly rudimentary (and mainly 'self-made', like own thesis topics oriented on programming robots), but it was one of the things I enjoyed the most.
But to the point: I wanted to find out how the AI job market is looking right now and what kind of people work in the filed (if one can really talk about the AI field as seems to be divided in many sub-fields). Could you please help me?

  • I haven't heard about any general AI companies - is it still a domain of educational and research institutions?
  • I've always been thinking that people working on AI problems must be curious and aware of potential implications of progress in the field (important contributions to progress in other fields but also ethical issues and an impact on culture and believes). Isn't that to naive?
  • And last but not least - is it difficult to get into the field (especially without the most suitable diploma and work experience)? I was thinking about switching my current 'maintenance' job for something more creative, more brain stimulating and bringing more change. I was even considering a PhD in AI somewhere in Europe or US, but even if I would succeed (and honestly I am not certain about it), what after that?

I know it is a very vague issue, still - so far I was unable to sort it out myself, so any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Art

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Re: AI job market and people - a career path worth to pick?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 10:22:42 am »
Welcome,

TO be blunt, in my opinion, A.I. is and will continue to be the most important force in our future and the future of the world.

For now, you are correct, there are MANY varied fields of study from software to hardware, NLP, Emotional and rational responses, learning, and tons more.

Good luck with your quest but it is the future...maybe yours as well.

From the CMU site, here are some of the areas in software:

   agents/    Agent Architectures
   alife/     Artificial Life and Complex Adaptive Systems
   anneal/    Simulated Annealing
   areas/     AI Newsgroup Archives
   blackbrd/  Blackboard Architectures
   bookcode/  Machine readable parts of various AI textbooks.
   ca/        Cellular Automata
   classics/  Classical AI Programs
   constrnt/  Constraint Processing
   dai/       Distributed AI
   discover/  Machine Discovery and Data-Mining
   doc/       Documentation and other AI-related notes.
   edu/       Educational Tools
   expert/    Expert Systems and Production Systems
   faq/       AI FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) postings for comp.ai
   fuzzy/     Fuzzy Logic
   games/     Game Playing
   genetic/   Genetic Algorithms and Genetic Programming
   icot/      IFS: ICOT Free Software
   kr/        Knowledge Representation
   learning/  Machine Learning
   misc/      Miscellaneous Unclassified AI Packages
   music/     Music
   neural/    Neural Networks, Connectionist Systems, and Neural Systems
   nlp/       Natural Language Processing (NLU, NLG, Parsing, Morphology, Machine Translation ...)
   planning/  Planning and Plan Recognition
   reasonng/  Reasoning
   robotics/  Robotics
   search/    Search
   speech/    Speech Recognition and Synthesis
   testbeds/  Testbeds, Simulators, and Micro-Worlds for Planning, Agents, and Robotics
   virtual/   Virtual Reality
   vision/    Computer Vision
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!

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Re: AI job market and people - a career path worth to pick?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 01:07:45 am »
Thank you for your answer Art.
I absolutely agree that AI might become a 'mother of sciences' in a way that it could allow for a great progress in many other disciplines. This is one of the reasons I am interested in this field. Still I am having the impression of AI being divided and commercialized (in a negative meaning - like data mining for 'spying' on people), but maybe this 'dark side' of it is simply the most 'visible' one for an external viewer. Will have to check for myself.

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Art

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Re: AI job market and people - a career path worth to pick?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 11:20:11 am »
Yes, unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, there are and always be both sides of a coin...the good and the bad.
This can be found in practically everything in our lives from fire, guns, politics, cars, software, money, drugs, etc.

Try not to focus too much on the downside like the spyware and malware but one should always be ever vigilant or aware of their presence and if needed, take suitable measures against them.

The bottom line is, Life is about CHOICES...the ones you make and the ones you didn't. Only YOU must decide which is the right path for you to choose.
I will also add...do what you love...that which inspires you...something that you are really passionate about! Then it will not be work at all.

Good luck in your CHOICES!! O0
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!