The artificial intelligence and machine learning community is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic, exciting and global ones. VCs have been fast to take notice of what is not just a passing trend, but an indicator of just how much artificial intelligence is positioned to change fundamental aspects of our society, from the division of labour to how we make decisions on a day-to-day basis. In fact, the number of VC-backed investments in AI rose from 160 in 2012 to 658 deals in 2016. What’s more, over 550 startups that rely on AI as a key part of their technology raised $5B in funding in 2016. The funds flowing into AI and machine learning raises the question of where expertise to fulfill opportunities in AI and machine learning are originating from.
A recent article from The Economist sheds light on how leading tech firms often need to recruit researchers and engineers from robotics and machine learning programs at traditional universities due to the lack of deep knowledge and skills in AI in the market. While the field of AI and machine learning is a few decades old, few have built a history of proven expertise in the area. Moreover, the talent shortage is further strained by a shortage of learning opportunities for engineers motivated to learn about machine learning and AI.
As highlighted by a recent article on Udacity’s blog, a burgeoning relationship between Digamma.ai and Udacity presents an important example of how industry and educators can work together to address the knowledge and skills gap in AI and machine learning. One of the challenges we are seeing is that teaching and learning is not moving as fast as it needs to be given the pace of innovation in AI and machine learning. Udacity, an innovative online learning platform that offers groundbreaking credential programs in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, is a key part of the solution.
As machine learning consultants, partners, and engineers to startup founders and enterprises interested in integrating AI and machine learning into their products, we are dedicated to lifelong learning and encourage our employees to take courses related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, human-computer interactions, or any programming or computer science topics that interest them. Team members who successfully complete a course or degree receive $500 for a regular course, and $1,200 for a degree. Udacity has proven to be an ideal provider of educational content for Digamma.ai teams.
We knew that developments in AI were moving very fast and we needed a learning partner that moves just as fast as we do.
Ultimately, as machine learning consultants, we always felt that it was important to let our team members widen their horizons, expand their knowledge and not get too ‘locked up’ in what they do on a day-to-day basis. Our philosophy has always been that a team exposed to world-class ideas and knowledge is ultimately going to be more engaged, think on a higher level, and be motivated to ship great products to our clients.
And, when we see how rapidly AI and machine learning are transforming a variety of industries from transportation to healthcare, we see the need to make more agile learning opportunities available to individuals bold enough to dream of new ways that AI will transform our society.
Like Udacity and as machine learning consultants, we believe that companies should take greater responsibility for educating—and re-educating—their workforces, and learning institutions should deliver more dynamic programs structured to meet the exciting opportunities that AI and machine learning have for us on the horizon.