Artificial intelligence (AI) used to seem like science fiction. Now you probably interact with AI every day, without even realising. Most likely it is not a humanoid robot plotting the end of the human race. Instead, think of Siri telling you what the weather is like outside, Google Maps deciding the fastest route to your destination, Gmail filtering out spam emails, or Netflix telling you what movie you might like to watch next. AI is quickly becoming embedded in our day-to-day lives.
These are all examples of AI technology processing large amounts of data to find the answer or perform the action you have requested. Artificial intelligence like this generally relies on machine learning – a function that gives systems the ability to learn and improve with experience, using patterns and algorithms rather than explicit instructions. While this might make it seem like the technology itself is intelligent, according to Deakin Associate Professor Richard Dazeley it really just comes down to how that technology is programmed.
‘Broadly speaking you could say that artificial intelligence is just a branch of computer science, but it is one that is concerned with the automation of intelligent behaviour,’ says Associate Professor Dazely. ‘So it is not necessarily about being intelligent, but about automating behaviour so that it appears intelligent.
‘Essentially it uses mathematical modelling techniques, such as pattern recognition and search over large amounts of data, to solve complex problems.’
One way to put it is that an AI solution programmed to win a specific game won’t be able to tell you how to tie your shoelaces – that is not what it was built to do. What is interesting, says Professor Dazely, is that they often can discover solutions to problems that humans have so far been unable to solve.
This technology is transforming industries around the world as well as our daily lives. It allows us to use the power of machines to implement intelligent automation and eliminate time consuming manual processes. As artificial intelligence applications become more common and reach into new areas, the AI industry is experiencing enormous growth – and offers incredible opportunities for talented professionals.
Reinventing existing jobs and creating new ones
Today, AI specialists work alongside a range of professionals, including software engineers, data scientists, application developers and business analysts. Skilled professionals are needed to create and design AI-driven software solutions that are ethically applied from both a technical and human perspective. AI has already helped to improve healthcare operations, national security, defence, social media, manufacturing and more.
More organisations around the world are now looking to take advantage of AI technology, and this is creating a demand for skilled professionals with a deep understanding of AI. The number of jobs demanding skills in artificial intelligence between 2016 and 2018 has grown in Australia by over 500% (Burning Glass Technologies. “Labour Insight™ Real-Time Labour Market Information Tool). There is a high demand for AI technology experts but only a limited number of them in the job market – so there has never been a better time to pursue a career in artificial intelligence.
Indeed named Machine Learning Engineer as the best job in the USA for 2019, due to growing demand and high salaries – at an average of US$146,085. The AI industry is also expanding in Australia, where the average salary for artificial intelligence related roles is AU$116,000.
Becoming a qualified artificial intelligence specialist can open the door to this world of opportunity – and the first step is artificial intelligence study.
Start your AI career with a Deakin degree
Whether you are just starting out, seeking a new career direction or looking to take the next step in your career, Deakin University’s suite of artificial intelligence degrees can help you achieve your goals.
The Bachelor of Artificial Intelligence is Australia’s first dedicated AI degree. It offers you the opportunity to build a strong foundation in information technology and computer science skills while also diving deeper into the world of AI. By specialising in this cutting-edge field, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work on the design, development and operation of ethical AI software solutions.
For those interested in postgraduate study, Deakin offers the Master of Applied Artificial Intelligence and Master of Applied Artificial Intelligence (Professional). The degree you choose will depend on your previous studies and work experience. Both will develop your understanding of the technology and processes that are used in AI, including deep learning, reinforcement learning, and the application of these algorithms in computer vision and speech processing. You might also be interested in the Master of Data Science, which focuses on extracting insights and value from the huge amounts of data generated each day.
Watch our webinar on Deakin’s artificial intelligence degrees to hear more from Associate Professor Richard Dazely. Be ready for the new future in technology – discover more about AI at Deakin today.