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Recruiting AI Talent

Recruiting AI Talent. Is Your Company Ready?

To stay competitive, recruiting AI talent becomes essential for most technology companies. We are now in an era where artificial intelligence is driving innovation at a pace never seen before. Most artificial intelligence and machine learning experts believe companies that fail to hire AI talent will be left behind.

Andrew Ng’s Equation

Andrew Ng is one of the world’s most famous and influential computer scientists, He has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, and Fast Company‘s Most Creative People. Dr. Ng worked at Google, where he founded and led the Google Brain Deep Learning Project. He moved on to found Coursera to offer free online courses for everyone. Next, he joined, he joined Baidu as Chief Scientist where he continued his work in big data and AI. In 2018, he launched and currently heads the AI Fund, initially a $175-million investment fund for backing artificial intelligence startups. He now serves as Founder and CEO of where he is building the data-centric MLOps platform for computer vision. He shares an equation for recruiting AI talent.

Data Science Comes Before Artificial Intelligence

Andrew Ng maintains you’re not really ready to be an AI company until you make strategic data acquisitions and gather up all your data into a centralized data warehouse. In other words, data science and analytics are closely related. You can’t really have one without the other. Quora’s Director of Data Science Paul King put it thusly:

“Data science is the use of statistical methods to find patterns in data. Statistical machine learning uses the same math as data science but integrates it into algorithms that get better on their own. Artificial intelligence is the general field of ‘intelligent-seeming algorithms’ of which machine learning is the leading frontier at the moment.”

— Paul King, Director of Data Science at Quora

To put it another way, the path to AI is through Data Science. In an article entitled, “How AI Fits into Your Data Science Team” Hilary Mason explained the nuances in a conversation she had with Harvard Business Review senior editor Walter Frick. She is the founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research firm. She cautions,

“Simply tacking on machine learning does transform an organization into an AI company.”

Getting Ready for AI Starts with Data

How do you tell if your company is ready for AI? You are ready for AI if you have a Chief Data Officer, a Data Science team, strategic data acquisitions, and a centralized data warehouse. At that point, you can start getting serious about AI.

As executive headhunters who recruit differently, The Good Search conducts retained executive searches for data analytics and AI executives. I have witnessed some of the leading technology companies transform themselves into AI Companies.

In fact, the CEO of one such company made Artificial Intelligence a strategic imperative. All decisions since then have flowed from that commitment at the top. That happened years ago. In other words, if you’re just now starting to think about hiring AI talent and building out a team, you’re late to the party. But maybe those intelligence machines can figure out a way to play catch up.

Executives who’d like to learn more about AI should check out Andrew Ng’s Coursera class Machine Learning. (You may want to brush up on your Linear Algebra with some lessons on the Khan Academy app.) Alternatively, you can check out the online course called “Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy”. It is being offered by the MIT Sloan School of Management in partnership with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, known as CSAIL. (The neat thing about the study of AI is that we’ll all be the wiser for it.)

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Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford is CEO of the retained executive search firm The Good Search and of its research division Intellerati. A former award-winning television journalist and investigative reporter, Ms. Bradford now pursues truth, justice, and great talent in the executive suite.View Author posts

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