What Is an AI Developer?
Artificial Intelligence is one of the most exciting technological advances in our world right now. Just decades ago, the idea of computer software programs that could develop their own intelligence seemed like the stuff of science fiction. Now it’s an integral part of the social media and search engines that we use every day. AI tells us where to drive when we don’t know the way, and sometimes even enables smart, safe parallel parking. You can schedule meetings through AI or find a new favorite TV show to watch.
AI is rapidly growing, so much so that Statista predicts there will be 8-billion AI powered voice assistants by 2023. All of this means that the need for AI developers is rapidly growing. If you’re interested in becoming an AI developer, there’s never been a better or more thrilling time. But first, learn more about what AI developers do and what it’s like to be an AI developer.
What Does An AI Developer Do? Job Description and Responsibilities
The definition of an AI developer is pretty self-explanatory: they develop the artificial intelligence software and applications that a particular business might use. They program systems that will change to suit the business’s needs based on the data collected and analyzed. One example of this is the AI that decides what movies and TV shows to recommend to you from your favorite streaming site or recommended products based on past purchases.
Because of this, AI developers often work with data engineers, machine learning engineers, and data scientists. They also maintain those systems to make sure that everything is running smoothly. Some of the duties that an AI developer might have include:
- Answer various business challenges using AI software
- Designing, developing, implementing, and monitoring AI systems
- Explain to project managers and stakeholders the potential and limitations of AI systems
- Develop data ingest and data transformation architecture
- Be on the lookout for new AI technologies to implement within the business
- Train teams when it comes to the implementation of AI systems
AI Developer vs. Machine Learning Engineer
AI developers and machine learning engineers are similar careers, and they do work with each other in order to make the best systems to use for the business. However, there is a distinction between the two. For the most part, that distinction comes down to the difference between AI and machine learning. While there is quite a bit of overlap, machine learning is only one part of AI, rather than the whole of it.
Machine learning is the use of software programs and applications that are able to learn from past applications how to provide a more improved and optimized experience. It utilizes statistics and operations research in order to help the software to adapt over time as it’s used. While this is convenient and helpful, it is not entirely AI.
AI pulls from both machine learning and deep learning, which implements larger neural networks to learn more complex programs and broadens the knowledge of the software program or application. The point of AI is not just to adapt, but to be “smart” as it does so. Think of your smartphone, or home appliances such as a smart fridge or smart trash can. Your GPS is also a good example of AI.
A machine learning engineer is responsible for developing the machine learning processes that the business uses, especially when it comes to collecting data or in response to data. AI developers instead work with AI, bringing their businesses into the future.
Top Tools Used By An AI Developer
An AI developer — or any software professional — is only as good as their tools. While one of the duties of an AI developer is to create AI systems from scratch, they use tools and languages that just about every programmer uses in order to create those systems and to make them accessible to those who use them. Some of the tools that an AI developer might use include:
- Programming languages like Java, Scala, and Python
- Deep learning platforms such as H20.AI
- Deep learning libraries
- Google assistants to implement within AI systems
- Cloud platforms like Azure or Google Cloud AI
- IBM Watson AI solutions
- APIs like OpenGL or PhysX
- Profiling tools like Perl or Perforce
- Analytic tools like TensorFlow, Torch, and PyTorch
Education and Background Requirements — What Type of Person Makes a Good AI Developer
Are you a natural problem solver, a critical thinker, and someone who is fascinated by the world of AI? A career as an AI developer might be the perfect job for you. An intensive bootcamp in Data Science or a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science, engineering, game development, or computer programming is a must for a potential AI developer. A Master’s Degree isn’t necessary unless you plan to work for a large company such as a large game development company, but you can pursue a Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence to get a leg up in the industry.
You won’t need a wealth of job experience in order to apply for your first job as an AI developer. Most of all, you’ll have to prove that you have familiarity with the tools needed to perform a job as an AI developer and that you have the skills and personality the company is looking for.
Skills Needed For AI Developers
So you have the education and the experience. The next question is whether you have the right personality. The skills needed to be an AI developer can be easily learned if you have the time to dedicate to it, as well as the kind of personality that’s right for the job. Some of the skills you’ll need to be an AI developer include:
Mathematics and Algorithms
AI development, like most programming, is a matter of mathematics. AI developers should be experts at problem solving who love to work through a logic challenge. They should also be familiar with algorithms — how they work, how they’re made, and how they can be improved. If you have the kind of mind that’s constantly solving math equations, this is a great job for you.
Probability and Statistics
Probability and statistics are the main thing that makes AI work. It’s all about searching for patterns and trends so that you can predict what’s needed and adapt accordingly. AI developers should be familiar with a variety of statistical methods and probability theories in order to make their AI productions succeed.
Fluency in Programming Languages
Do you sometimes feel that you speak in Java or Python? AI developers are programmers, so it’s important to be an expert in common programming languages. That includes Python and R, as well as Java, C++, and Scala. These programming languages will help you to develop more complex and more optimized algorithms.
Multi-Tasking and Proficiency With Multiple Computing Tools
AI developers work with data scientists and data analysts, who collect their data from a wide variety of sources. There’s simply too much data in the world to leave it to just one or two sources. Thus AI developers should be handy when it comes to multiple computing tools and data collection methods, as well as skilled at multitasking and having multiple things on their plate (or screen, as it were).
Flexibility and Quick Learning
As stated above, you’ll have to use multiple different sources when it comes to data collection and analysis, as well as multiple tools for the AI development itself. AI developers should be able to be flexible, shifting from project to project. They should also be quick learners who are able to learn a new system when one is introduced.
How Much Do Artificial Intelligence Developers Make?
Not only is a job as an AI developer exciting, but working in artificial intelligence pays. AI developers have an average salary of about $75,000, sometimes receiving bonuses in terms of profit sharing and commissions. This is a job with high demand, so the job security is high, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy this financial stability as well as the possibility for bonuses and raises through the years.
You may choose to stay within artificial intelligence development for the rest of your career, or you may decide to move on to a different career within that field.
Related Careers In Software and Data
Rarely does someone stay in the same position for their entire career. You may be passionate about software, artificial intelligence, or data. Even if you don’t stay an AI developer for the entirety of your career, you may move on to other positions within AI or data that are similar or are a promotion from your current position. Some of those positions may include:
- Machine learning engineer - average salary $146,085 in the U.S.
- Data scientist - average salary $96,100 in the U.S.
- Research scientist - average salary $80,285 in the U.S.
- Business intelligence developer - average salary $80,103 in the U.S.
These numbers are all from Payscale, and all a step up in pay from that of an artificial intelligence developer. But even comparable pay — as with a business intelligence developer — can still make for an interesting career change, offering variety while still working within the field you’re passionate about.
How To Become An AI Developer — With Help From Le Wagon
Ready to get started with a career as an AI developer? Want to hone your skills in order to give you a competitive edge in the job market? Whether you’re graduating from college with a Bachelor’s Degree and a career plan or you’re changing careers after some time in the workforce, it’s a great time to become an AI developer. And there’s never a bad time to learn new skills and improve.
When it comes to Web Development or Data Science, Le Wagon has you covered. We have 40 campuses throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. At these campuses, you can take part in our coding bootcamps, intensive programs where you can learn from industry experts and network with peers. We offer:
- A 9-week full time Web Development bootcamp
- A 24-week part time Web Development bootcamp
- A 9-week full time Data Science bootcamp
- A 24-week part time Data Science bootcamp
In all of them, you’ll work on projects that will mirror the kind of work you’ll do on the job as well as attend lectures and panels. In the Data Science bootcamp, you can spend two weeks on machine learning followed by one week on deep learning, equipping you with the knowledge you need to develop AI systems. The bootcamp even includes relaxing periods such as yoga as a break from the mental stress of coding so intensely.
Combined with a scientific background and a few months of self learning, our Data Science bootcamp will surely allow you to succeed as an AI Developer.
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Download our syllabus below to discover our Data Science bootcamp and learn more about our alumni and community! And for answers to frequently asked questions, head here.