Market Insight

AI in education: Fulfilling the demand for data scientists and developers

January 28, 2019

Luca De Ambroggi Luca De Ambroggi Senior Research Director, Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Education is a key component of artificial intelligence that authorities, governments, and academia need to massively invest in to ensure the sustainable development of anything related to AI and, more particularly, machine learning including ANN and deep learning. Such technologies have a broad application spectrum that will have a huge impact on our entire society from workforce to defence to healthcare. 

The first aspect for education to address is fulfilling the demand for data scientists and developers. This demand is skyrocketing, and it is far above the offer. As it happens in any open market, the trend is noticeable through a simple salary analysis for AI experts independent of the industry vertical. The need for AI experts is clear, and MIT’s $1B investment is confirmation that something needs to be done.  

MIT’s initiative is most likely not only for coping with the high demand for new and well-educated data scientists. It is also to protect the education system, preventing highly valuable professors and academic scientists to be cannibalized by the industry. This cannibalization would leave empty all major universities that show advance in machine learning and algorithms, and is already seen today. Several key university professors and scientists have left academia to embrace corporation and industries. 

Education needs also to have in mind another key element in the development of AI agents: ethics. This aspect is usually not much considered from any high-speed technology industry. But, whether we like it or not, AI will pose serious ethical questions in the future use of human or even super-human entities—something that Isaac Asimov already postulated in his futuristic scenario. 

No one will stop the technology progression, but there is a need to regulate it and keep under control the potential threats that are often hidden behind any technology breakthrough. 

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