New Approaches Are Needed To Cultivate AI Talent

ByRonald Van Loon

November 7, 2018

Ronald Van Loon

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We now live in the world of AI and there’s plenty of talk about what the future holds. With doubts about the future everywhere, one can predict that AI is soon going to be a key part of our lives.
Considering the likely future impact of AI, there’s a need to ensure that the right AI talent develops and rises to the top to lead this wave of change. According to several key leaders from Huawei, this can only be achieved by changing certain approaches.
As a Huawei partner and a member of Huawei’s Key Opinion Leader Program, I joined three other experts in conducting keynotes at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, all related to the question of how to develop talent in the AI era: Dr. Hao Lu, Chief Innovation Officer at Yitu, Huang Weiwei, Senior Management Consultant for Huawei, and Qian Wang, the Co-Founder of Mai Mai.
WeiWei mentioned that, “The adoption of AI technologies will not only make products more intelligent and improve internal management efficiency; it could contribute as much as 90 percent of total income even though AI headcount would be relatively small compared to the total number of employees.”
A Sequoia China report that was revealed recently mentioned that there are over 1,000 AI companies registered in China currently. These companies account for nearly one-fourth of all AI companies across the world. China, therefore, is second only to the United States when it comes to the number of enterprises linked to AI within the country.

The Impact of AI Talent on Company Performance

With artificial technology horizons expected to broaden in the future, one can tell that AI talent will have a key role to play in company performance. The talent that a company possesses in the field of AI dictates how well its able to manage analytics for the future. The best AI talent in the market will realize the performance of different models and harness their potential to help them perform at that potential.
This knowledge is what AI companies will crave in the future.
As the age of AI kicks in, management philosophy will also change. Previously management was involved in routine decision making and innovations, but now the AI age will define how organizations rely more on their top talent to define and lead innovation. The innovation that the workforce inside an organization brings will be the differentiating factor for all types of AI companies. Their workers will help propel them forward and foster innovation.
Realizing the impact of employees’ creativity in the overall company policy, organizations will also reward this talent accordingly.
AI now dictates a major part of the talent pyramid. AI professionals and data scientists have revamped the way people look at the pyramid because decision making has come down from the top tier to the skilled workers below. Data scientists and AI professionals are more involved in the decision making process, as they’re now the ones leading the process of change within organizations.

What Does It Mean for the Talent?

With rapid advancements in AI, the top talent out there keeps a stringent check on the job market. Knowing that talent will play an important role in AI advancement, it’s important to know what these advancements mean for them.
The following skills or qualifications will be expected of employees in the future:
More Specialized
Rather than being exhaustive and trying their hands at everything, employees of the future will have to specialize in one specific field, be it data labeling, machine learning or parallel computing, the upcoming talent should identify one facet of AI and start working on it. With the need for enhanced innovation and skills in the future, you cannot exhaust yourself by trying to study everything at the same time.
More Comprehensive
The need for specialization mentioned above, would require a more comprehensive approach towards models at work. This is to ensure that errors don’t spread and, in fact, don’t occur in the first place. Since a single error in the analytics stage can destroy momentum, understanding is something that should be guaranteed.
More Attentive
Humans tend to make costly errors, too, when it comes to AI. This is exactly why attention is a quality expected from future AI talent. They should remain attentive and at the top of their game at all times.

Recruiting Highly Qualified Talent

With the passage of time and with developments in the field of AI, there will be a special focus on recruiting only the top qualified talent in the market. The core talent in the era of AI would be the highly qualified workers coming through and leading the change.
This highly qualified talent can relate to:

  1. Application of AI
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. IoT
  4. Industrial Robotics

The talent of the future would be required to:

  1. Provide data insights
  2. Apply AI technology across different scenarios
  3. Maintain human computer interaction
  4. Respond to dynamic changes
  5. Customize demand
  6. Diversify industry business
  7. Maintain various business standards
  8. Coordinate different platforms
  9. Maintain safety and reliability

Main Strategies for Enterprises to Develop In-House AI Talent

With the heightened focus on ensuring the availability of top AI talent, organizations can also take the safe and reliable way out of developing this talent within their own enterprises.
The following are some strategies to augment the growth of in-house talent within your enterprise:

  1. Have a clear vision of what you expect and want from AI talent in the short and long run.
  2. Have multiple agile teams that deal with the customer’s journey.
  3. Ensure the availability of data to develop the best data sets.
  4. Maintain a culture that is driven by data.
  5. Maintain end-to-end lifecycle management for AI.

How Huawei Develops Top AI Talent

Huawei’s method of developing top AI talent is based on four strong pillars.

  1. Continuous investment on basic research
  2. Talent acquisition from a global scale
  3. Strong framework and application
  4. Leading technology and solid theory
  5. Convenient platform with a learning mode
  6. Practical and up-to-date training

Huawei Developer Program

As part of their efforts in this regard, Huawei has also built a developer program to foster the growth of talented AI individuals. This program will help it collaborate with developers, universities, research institutes and partners to build a better talent pool and ecosystem for supporting AI resources.
Huawei has decided to invest over US$140 million USD to ensure that AI talent education is supported and made a priority. This cost covers scientific research, AI courses, and talent training.
China has grown as one of the world’s most potent forces when it comes to AI. The country promises to revolutionize almost everything—from policing to driving to healthcare—by using AI.
China is investing heavily in technology, and plans to create an ecosystem that best works in its favor. Huawei has a strategic position in this regard, and will act as the pioneers of this change.
Click the link to learn more about Huawei Connect and how Huawei aims to cultivate AI talent.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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