Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Engineering, Science, Technology, and Social Sciences

Artificial Intelligence Specialist Job Description, Career as an Artificial Intelligence Specialist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

specialists computer systems research

Education and Training: Master's or doctoral degree

Salary: Median—$74,980 per year

Employment Outlook: Excellent

Definition and Nature of the Work

Artificial intelligence (AI) specialists program computers to "think." Some AI specialists work in cognitive simulation, in which computers are used to test hypotheses about how the human mind works. For example, the AI specialist might develop a computer program to simulate the way the human brain might recognize a face. The computer's ability to recognize a face would then be compared to a human's ability. However, most AI specialists work in applied AI. The goal of applied AI, or advanced information processing, is to program computer expert systems ("smart" systems)—those that can, for example, recognize a fingerprint for security purposes, recognize voices, interpret information, solve problems, and speak in a humanlike voice.

The development of expert systems enables computers to make specific judgments and give advice to users by incorporating human expertise. Computers are able to diagnose illnesses, evaluate psychological tests, locate natural resources, and perform many other important functions. Expert systems are used in the fields of medicine, law, geology, and accounting. In medicine, expert systems can make the knowledge and experience of top specialists available to all doctors. These specialists work with AI specialists to develop programs for the identification of diseases. AI scientists at naval research laboratories have even developed a robot that can be sent aboard an unmanned submarine to repair crippled vessels.

Artificial intelligence specialists work for the research centers of universities, small AI development companies, and the growing numbers of large corporations that are maintaining in-house AI groups. Some of these companies are interested in computer-aided instruction for their own personnel. Other companies may develop and sell instructional software created by AI specialists. The defense, electronics, computer, communications, and automotive industries are all interested in this field. Some academic researchers are forming their own small AI companies.

Education and Training Requirements

The field requires a strong background in programming or systems analysis or fluency in several computer languages. Most artificial intelligence specialists have master's or doctoral degrees in computer science or cognitive science (a combination of psychology, psycholinguistics, computer science, anthropology, and philosophy). Some applicants with bachelor's degrees may be qualified for entry-level positions.

Getting the Job

Try to gain practical experience by initiating a school project or by taking part in research efforts. This may help you break into the field. You can apply directly to university research centers or to companies that do AI research and development. You can also sign up with a recruiting firm.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

An AI specialist who has a bachelor's or master's degree can advance by earning a doctoral degree. Other forms of advancement include becoming head of a research group or moving into management. Some researchers start their own development companies.

Although artificial intelligence research began in the 1940s, the field is still in its infancy and has only recently started to gain momentum. More than half of the nation's one thousand largest corporations have invested significantly in AI developments, including machine vision systems, natural language, robotics, and voice-recognition systems. Job opportunities are expected to grow at a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. Computer software engineering in general is projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations from 2004 to 2014.

At one time, specialists needed a background in operations research. The job market should be less restrictive in the future, accepting specialists from a range of disciplines including systems analysis, programming, and computer languages.

Working Conditions

Patience and dedication are desirable qualities for AI specialists since programs often take years to develop. Research is almost always a team effort, so AI specialists must be able to work well with others. In addition, researchers often work closely with experts in many fields to benefit from their knowledge.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association for Artificial Intelligence
445 Burgess Dr.
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3442
(650) 328-3123
http://www.aaai.org

Earnings and Benefits

Artificial intelligence specialists make salaries comparable to software engineers. Their median annual salary in 2004 was $74,980. Benefits usually include paid vacations and holidays, as well as health insurance.

Astronaut Job Description, Career as a Astronaut, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Archaeologist Job Description, Career as a Archaeologist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

Great for my career decisions paper in my sage class. A.I. is a dream job for me and now I realize that I can reach this goal with a little hard work.

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

thanks!! its really a great help for my techinical writting class..:D

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

sir i am from india now entering +1.i want to take a career in a.i,but i am confused in taking what stream,science or computer science .pls reply me as soon as possible

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

thanx this website helped me a lot on my report



:)

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Thank you for this, it helps with my Career Reasearch Essay that will potentially save my grade.

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

I would like to thank you this has been great for my junior career essay that about all lol but thank you

Vote down Vote up

about 9 years ago

I would just like to thank you for putting everything in plain english on your website. I am doing a short blob on Information Tech. as an assingnment for my IT class and your website was most usfull.



Thanks

Jamie

Vote down Vote up

over 9 years ago

oct. 5, 2007

im writing a career report on the artificial intelligence specialist job and i was wondering if anyone can help me out with some questions

all i really need is the name and addresses of 2 employers that hire people in this field of work and the company that this job works with

i need the information by oct. 11, 2007

if anyone can help me then i thank them now

:]

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

Does anyone know the pay difference between a Master's Degree and a Doctorate? I have been looking but all I find is the average salary.

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

i like llamas and the AI robot that was created to be like a llama that makes pancakes

Vote down Vote up

11 months ago

I need yo know the WORK ENVIRONMENT, like is it safe? Or dangerous? Could you add that? Thanks!