The Future of AI in Schooling: Developing AI Talent the Hard Way

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    McDonalds made headlines recently by adding to the number of self service kiosks in their stores. It raised the eyebrows of liberals and conservatives alike, rekindling the ever-old minimum wage debate. We’ll steer clear of that controversial topic and raise another. Human jobs are being taken over by machines with the power of artificial intelligence, but is there enough AI talent to go around?

    Artificial intelligence is impacting every industry. Financial services, manufacturing and even healthcare are discovering the potential of AI.

    A 2017 report from the Business Higher Education Forum, Burning Glass and IBM showed that data and analytics talent for AI will grow in need by 364,000 to 2,720,000 by 2020, a 700% increase. That number is only expected to continue to grow. As it does, millions will be needed to fill those positions.

    What do these two stories tell us? Artificial intelligence, computers and robots might be taking over some jobs, but not all. A new field is emerging, but there’s a problem. There aren’t enough trained data analysts to fill all these positions. There is more demand for AI talent than there is supply. This has driven up the salaries for AI analysts, limiting which companies have access to the top talent. The result is only the largest organisations with the most resources can attract the necessary talent.

    The solution isn’t in government controlled wages. It’s in growing the next generation into the roles the world will require of them through finding an developing new AI talent.

    H2O.ai is a company that believes in democratising AI, which they’re doing through multiple strategies. One strategy is by creating AI platforms that are intuitive, easy to use and financially accessible. The goal is to provide more accessibility for others to learn how to analyse, interpret and utilise the data.

    Another way is through AI talent education. They believe that this is the direction our world is headed. Therefore kids need to be prepared to contribute to that world. There is no better way to see this through than by educating kids.

    To accomplish this H2O.ai has teamed up with AI4ALL, a non-profit seeking to make AI education accessible to all. Together, they dream of increasing the AI talent pool thereby preparing kids for the world they will live in. Ingrid Burton, Chief Marketing Officer at H2O.ai commented on the mission, “This preparation will allow them to develop the skills that will be needed when they enter the workforce, assuaging the fears of AI and automation eliminating jobs for humans.”

    To further cement these steps, H2O.ai will be joining the AI4ALL summer camps at various colleges across the country to help mentor students and share insights and experiences from the industry. Ingrid Burton commented further, “We will be working with AI4ALL summer camp high school graduates on this programme, thus ensuring that everyone is paying it forward and giving back.”

    Educating kids to live in a world dominated by AI is as important as ever. Their jobs depend on it, and the growth in AI talent will only feed the increasingly global industry. Whether McDonalds is a harbinger that minimum wage jobs are eliminated or not, the growth in AI will provide jobs for the future.

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