I am looking to speak/write with someone who already works in AI. I am in the middle of a career change right now. I would like to get someones input about working in AI , how they got there, what they like, what they don’t like, etc…
I recently “broke” into AI-based vision and introduced it to the company I worked for and fastai helped me do that. I am still relatively green, but you are most welcome to PM me any questions you might have and I will try to answer them.
I found a job in AI startup after finishing fastai courses 2 years ago, it was a long journey of tens job interviews and one successful meeting with my current CTO. I will be happy to answer my questions, but I don’t know how they can be applied in your country - I am working in Tel Aviv and everything here is not like in any other country.
First thanks for answering my post. I am located in Knoxville TN, not known to be a tech hub…apart from the lab in Oak Ridge where they almost require a Phd.
For my questions, I would start with these:
How much coding experience did you have or your what was your coding skill level when you started?
How did you selected companies that are really doing AI/ML?
How much of the fastai class did you complete before switching?
When learning fastai, where you doing it full time?
What do you mean by you broke into AI? It was difficult to learn? I know it is for me…especially doing it part time. I did a small vision script that can categorize graphs (True or False) but that’s it…
When I started fastai in 2018, I spent a lot of time on tabular data…but got slowed by the learning curve of pandas…Whenever you use tabular data you have to clean the DataFrame and pandas can be a pain to use.
I found Vision to be more efficient to use because you can put simply print your data on a graph and the AI will “appreciate” the data for what they are including missing data, outliers, etc…
I mean that I broke the barrier to where I can apply deep-learning CV techniques creatively and productively. I had a few years experience with MATLAB and traditional image analysis techniques, so manipulating images and segmentation I already knew well. I was learning Python from scratch while learning the fastai and pytorch libraries, so that was certainly a learning curve. fortunately, I did this as a PhD student, so time allows. After the PhD i was hired in the same company to implement an image processing and analysis workflows and we are currently working on some patents which hopefully i get to apply in the future.
So I did not go through as rigorous interviews as you normally would for this job as it was internal. But I did interview for another company who was searching for a CV expert. Your strongest asset as a scientist/engineer will always be learning on the go, so highlight this at every chance, that you push yourself to adapt and learn for whatever challenge you get. You dont always need all the specific skills asked for, as long as they believe in you and can see that you have some related skills and experience.
I like working in AI quite a lot! there is so much happening, there are many low-hanging fruits for inventions and always new opportunities. Also, there is so much value it can bring at the moment, which is the reason I tried to “break in”. I think placing yourself on the wave allows you to have a stronger career. I work in life sciences R&D and there is a lot of potential for me to have a good impact there and many companies are just starting out.
As for your latter question, I would not know I am afraid.