Top five AI hires your business needs in 2019

You might need more than just a data scientist for your company to reap the benefits of AI.
10 January 2019

You need the right people for effective AI integration. Source: Unsplash

As companies across almost every industry imaginable flock to the competitive benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), an explosion in demand for the talent to develop, integrate and operate the technology has ensued.

In 2018, between January to September, there was a massive 63 percent increase in emerging technology job openings, according to CompTIA, with AI one of the top attributes on the list.

That’s chiefly owed to the technology’s potential in automating, accelerating and enhancing core business processes, while ultimately relinquishing staff from often menial work in place of value-adding and creative tasks.

That’s not to say, though, that the technology does not need a human helmsman.

Indeed, in the words of Gartner’s Svetlana Sicular, “the human is the strongest element in AI”. If you are one of the 15 percent of enterprises using AI already or part of the third of groups that plan to implement the technology this year, then picking the right people will be vital to your success.

However, according to KPMG’s partner, data & analytics lead, Brad Fisher, AI deployment across your business requires “more than just data scientists”.

“It takes a robust team with a range of specialized AI and business skills who can help with every stage of the process,” adds Fisher. “And right now few companies seem to have the right mix needed for AI to bring strategic value to an organization.”

With that in mind, based on the global management consultancy firm’s own AI projects and those of its clients, below are five AI job openings that companies should be considering if they are to build their AI capabilities with aplomb.

# 1 | AI Architect

These specialists look at individual business processes— as well as the big picture organization— and determine where they can inject and embed AI successfully.

They are also responsible for measuring performance and sustaining the AI model over time, ensuring it removes mundane tasks to optimize humans in the workforce. The lack of AI architects is a big reason why companies cannot successfully sustain AI initiatives.

# 2 | AI Product Manager

Working closely with the AI architect, the AI product manager serves as a liaison across multiple business teams to ensure solutions are successfully implemented.

They also work closely with these teams— as well as HR— to identify organizational changes needed to ensure optimal performance of both humans and machines.

# 3 | Data Scientist

With the ever-growing amount of data available to businesses, there is a shortage of experts with the skills to clean this data, and then design and apply the appropriate algorithms to glean meaningful insights.

# 4 | Software Engineer

One of the biggest problems facing businesses is getting AI from pilot phase to scalable deployment. Software engineers work hand-in-hand with data scientists to bring AI into production, blending business acumen with a deep understanding of how AI works.

# 5 | AI Ethicist

As ethical and social implications of AI continue to unfold, companies may need to create new jobs tasked with the critical responsibility of establishing AI frameworks that uphold company standards and codes of ethics.

Initially, these roles could be fulfilled by existing leaders in an organization, but as the effects of AI fully take shape, it may need to be the responsibility of one person to ensure these guidelines are upheld.

“The surging demand for these five AI skill sets means that it’s not easy to identify and hire these resources,” Fisher says. “But the scarcity promises to increase in the coming months and years, so business leaders are best advised to build their team with due haste.”