To get an idea of the types of computer science jobs in artificial intelligence, think of all the jobs computers can do more efficiently than humans. Not only do jobs in robotics require artificial intelligence skills, but so do jobs in process management, business optimization, industrial control, financial systems and data mining, to name just a few. In fact, so many jobs benefit from an understanding of artificial intelligence that many analysts worry that large numbers of people will lose their jobs to robots in the near future, according to The Independent.
Jobs in artificial intelligence require advanced computer science skills that typically come from a professional or doctoral degree. These research scientists work in universities and private industry inventing and perfecting the algorithms that control the brains of computer software or robots. These algorithms may run relatively autonomously, like stock trading programs, or they can help humans go to dangerous places, like war zones or other planets.
How to Prepare for a Computer Science Career in Artificial Intelligence
As an undergraduate, you can begin familiarizing yourself with artificial intelligence concepts by learning about neural networks, artificial expert systems, machine classification and any other subjects that interest you. When you enroll in graduate school, you can often specialize your degree in AI or at least take courses directly related to your subject of interest. In a Ph.D. program, you have the freedom to choose your area of research and your dissertation, so you should focus on the specific field of artificial intelligence you want to pursue. Before entering a Ph.D. program, investigate your professors to find out their areas of research, and choose your professors based on your personal research goals.
Since artificial intelligence is a developing field, many AI jobs can be found in research. A few companies conduct proprietary AI research, such as Google, DeepMind and IBM, and many companies need computer scientists to develop AI software for consumer goods, such as navigation systems and housecleaning robots. Businesses hire specialized computer science experts to do financial modeling, detect fraud, implement business rules and apply their knowledge to any problem that can be efficiently solved by an algorithm.
How Much Do Computer Scientists in Artificial Intelligence Make?
Depending on your role in artificial intelligence, your potential salary can vary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information research scientists made in a median annual income of $102,190 in 2012, and the top-earning 10 percent made around $152,000. However, most companies hiring AI experts are looking for software engineers to design programs to control computers and other machines. A software engineer with a master’s degree in computer science typically makes between $93,350 and $138,880 per year.
Other roles dealing with artificial intelligence include algorithm optimization specialists, computer engineers and engineering consultants. As healthcare computer systems become more advanced, artificial intelligence experts will be needed to implement software on these platforms. Computer engineers will be needed to build increasingly sophisticated robots for businesses, consumers, governments and military.
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Developing artificial intelligence algorithms is one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs in computer science. If you believe you have the enthusiasm and dedication needed to complete a master’s degree or Ph.D. in this subject, you should continue researching the types of computer science jobs in artificial intelligence.