I have been offered a job with a software firm which does high level custom software. I believe i am the first person there with some AI background and that very soon now many of their projects will require some AI. I am not a lead, i don't think i have the skills, technical or managerial. Is it possible for a software development team with one person with some AI background, to learn to implement various AI techniques succesfully?

My own background is that i studied AI but with a focus on cognition (ie: use AI to better understand cognition, human or otherwise). Afterwards i learned the craft of software development (Java webapps) and worked in this field until i found a PhD position. During my PhD i dabbled a bit with machine learning, academically. Soon i focussed again on the more cognition oriented approach, and looked for ways of formalising knowledge from literature so it could be used inside a custom classifier to better analyse a new dataset.

The funding ran out before i could finish and i returned to software development. Ideally i would love a job where i could join a AI-oriented team, and learn more about production-level AI on the job.

The job i have been offered is with a firm that makes custom software. They are starting a new project which should employ AI to help human operators fulfil a complex task. Another project uses very costly calculation and one ML component. The data it works on is public and google has announced it will have a go at the data. I expect that when google is done, there will be a scramble to use ML for all the components.

In general i think that 5 years from now all their software projects will require some form of AI. If i were running this software company i would go and look for a lead developer who had proven themselves in AI. Then i would task this person with interviewing to find 2 'luitenants'.

What are the chances of a software development team including one member who knows about machine learning in an academic context, getting up-to-speed and delivering production level software incorporating AI?

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    $\begingroup$ I think you should ask this question in career.se $\endgroup$ – user9947 May 26 '19 at 4:21
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    $\begingroup$ "jumping in the deepend is the best way to learn how to swim" "dont bite off more than you can chew" Decide which quote you like more. $\endgroup$ – mshlis May 26 '19 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ @mshlis, the second obviously. Now I'm trying to estimate the amount I can chew ;-) $\endgroup$ – Ivana May 26 '19 at 11:32

I think you should be fine if you are using other people's tried and tested algorithms and have a reasonable understanding of machine learning best practices - how to clean and balance your dataset and how to effectively measure performance. Maybe if you are trying to come up with new algorithms / DNN architectures you will struggle.


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