Know How To Break Into Artificial Intelligence And Robotics With Melanie Laffin

A career in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics is much sought after. Melanie Laffin, senior developer at Capgemini, gives us a keen insight on how to successfully break into this career. The right educational qualifications with coding and programming skills are needed. Use of resources, interview format and common interview questions asked are all clearly enunciated. Any aspirant in this industry can use all this information judiciously and achieve a successful invasion into Robotics and Artificial Intelligence field.

Melanie Laffin Senior Intelligent Automation Developer

Robotics Process Automation involves automation of tasks that a human would do on the computer. Artificial Intelligence, like chat bots and advanced data analytics, is used to solve problems of the user.

 

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A broad definition of Artificial Intelligence is that it is a computational system. It is not a natural system. The computer will perceive its environment and react to that perception. It exhibits signs of intelligence and hence the name Artificial Intelligence or AI.

 

Role of an Artificial Intelligence Engineer and Team

Primary Function

The primary role of an AI Engineer and his Process Automation Team is to work on a client’s problem and offer an easy automated solution to it with the use of robots.

For example, a client has been doing some work manually which is boring, repetitive and prone to mistakes. The AI engineer and his team automate this task with a robot. This bot is a form of intelligence. Data input and analysis, helps the robot arrive at the solution.

 

Limitations and Solutions

Robots do exactly what they are programmed to do. Therefore, the best thing to do while building a bot is to get requirements from different people in order to program the right data into the robot and tell it what to do. Another useful tip would be to build machine learning models and run them for prediction and enter classification to finesse the output and accuracy of the automated process.

 

Is AI the Future

Artificial Intelligence has been touted as the future right from the 1950s when computers started being used. Widespread use of computers at home and in businesses followed in the decades to come.

In reality, it was not computationally or financially feasible to run AI models and things like machine learning and chat bots. These are computationally intensive, and as a result, very expensive. Now, personal computers have become inexpensive. The feasibility and implementation of Artificial Intelligence has increased manifold because of this. Artificial Intelligence is absolutely the future.

 

Machine Learning Vs AI

  • Artificial Intelligence or AI is a broad category while machine learning is a subcategory of AI.
  • Machine learning attempts to solve a specific question or problem while Artificial Intelligence involves prediction and classification.
  • Machine learning is defined as the computer being able to do something without being explicitly programmed to do so while with AI you build AI systems that are explicitly programmed.

 

How to Break into Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

If you are a technical person and know programming, it is easy to achieve an entry into this job. Aspirants with good coding skills and a deep understanding of AI and AI problem solving skills, are also always in demand in this field.

             People with good managing and execution capabilities like project managers also find it easy to enter this field. The main criteria is to be interested in this field and then develop on this interest.


3 Top Skills for an Intelligent Automation developer

  1. Be process oriented. Understand that there are sequential steps that need to be replicated by the computer and understanding how a process works
  2. Understand basics of Computer Science. Know data, data types, storing data, how to retrieve data, etc in order to make a good functional bot
  3. Be detail oriented. Automation requires replication. You need to be able to pay attention to the smallest details to do this accurately.

 

Education and Experience Needed

Certain qualifications like Business degrees, Computer Science degrees, Information Technology degrees, Masters in Information Technology and Information Systems are necessary. Math and Statistics degrees are also very helpful to have. Technical ability and processing logic are also key skills that will help.

 

Interview Format of Artificial Intelligence Role

There are usually three or four interview rounds. Initially, the recruiter determines your skill set and personality and determines if you fit the role and company. Thereon, they are further interview and interactions with seniors to judge your aptitude.

If you are a fresher, then there is usually an additional round involving case study where you are given a situation and have to provide solutions.


5 Common Interview Questions

  1. Walk me through your resume. Here, you have to talk about your qualifications, experience and highlights of your career at length.
  2. For a fresher, the questions are usually about favourite subject, general interests, area of interest in AI.
  3. Probing questions on whether the candidate’s interest lies in Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence or robotics.
  4. Questions related to leadership and self-direction.
  5. Questions related to conflict with the client team and own office teams and how it was handled.

 

3 Best resources to use in AI Job Interview Preparation

  1. Use Google extensively
  2. Use Reddit and a subreddit like CS career, RC career questions, etc
  3. Use Topcoder.

 

Career Path Types for Robotics Developers

  • Remain technical throughout your career
  • Diversify from technical to management and consulting
  • Marketing, sales and bringing in new clients.

 

Challenges and Opportunity

Challenges

  • Process Automation (PA) software is not stable. It causes the bot to break down and requires recoding and keeping the bots functional.
  • AI is an emerging technology with a high level of unknowns. Accuracy is not always hundred percent.

 

Opportunity

  • Opportunity lies in fixing the above challenges.
  • Immense opportunity to learn and grow without stagnating as this is an emerging field.

 

Advice to Aspiring Developers in AI and Robotics

Be passionate about and love your subject. Stay abreast of all the latest developments by reading books, industry journals and attending tech conferences and seminars. Keep learning and keep track of the breakthroughs and actions of persons in this field.