Machine Learning Engineer or a Software Engineer?

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Source: Ali Shah Lakhani from unsplash datamahadev.com

Machine Learning is one of the most celebrated professions of today’s day and age, just like Software Developer/Engineer were back in the 90s and 2000s. The software engineers had their own charm back then and had a great reputation, especially the ones who were fortunate enough to get through the great American dream.

With the advent of technology and an increase in the number of educational institutions in India, the demand for software engineers has still not stabilized, instead, it has gained a wide range of the spectrum. People have become OS developers, an android/ios developer, a machine learning/deep learning engineer, data scientists. 

Bill Gates, Larry Page, etc are some of the biggest software engineers of our day and age and more than just a software engineer they are good marketers, they were able to reach their product in almost every corner of the world. Innovation was on their side, but without proper marketing,  innovation won’t reach out to the audience.

We have Coca Cola & Pepsi in almost every corner of the world but are they innovative when compared to Microsoft and Google?

The demand for Data Scientists, Machine Learning professionals has grown steadily in the just concluded decade, and right now, the need for these data professionals is at an all-time high. 

The reason?

There is not one reason to point out but many. Some think of it as a high paying job, i.e, get experience, and 3 years later you stand out when the demand stabilizes or is about to stabilize.  The other reason can be the interest in algorithms of machine learning and their predictive capabilities, a predictive capability which is faster than the human being. 

Suppose, you predict a cat or a dog and you are given 10 images, you will certainly be able to do that manually and tell your client, your human classification that you have predicted the two species in the given 10 images. But, given a dataset of a million images, you are certainly not going to give a nod and even if you readily agree it will take a lifetime to predict just the two species. Now, you apply an Artificial Intelligence technique called Computer Vision, you know all the math behind the algorithm and now you’ve fed a million image dataset into the algorithm. You are bound to get the prediction within minutes, a superhuman kinda thing, right or like the Chitti Robot character of Rajnikanth from the movie Robot, he learns, classifies, and predicts everything just by looking at a particular object. 

Computer Vision technology can be used in a wide range of applications, as in a self-driving car, accurate facial recognition, quality process control in factories and industries, speed up automation in defense and manufacturing, in the healthcare. Computer Vision will definitely help speed up & boost the manufacturing sector in India.

Chatbot applications can be used in a plethora of applications and in a wide variety of sectors too, it gained a huge prominence worldwide with Iphone’s Siri. 

Back in the 1950s, Alan Turing(often referred to as the father of AI) published a famous article “Computing Machinery & Intelligence” in this article he talked about how a computing machine can mimic a human and give human-like judgments, this inspired a chatbot application in 1966 named ELIZA, by Joseph Weizenbaum. ELIZA was able to fool humans as if they were really in a conversation with a human. 

Today, still in 2020 it all feels completely super powerful to understand & implement Machine learning and Deep learning algorithms.

Now, the question arises whether AI will cut/replace the jobs of the future, create mass unemployment in the future? These are some grave concerns & common questions in the minds of the common people working in the private sector of India. 

According to Bill Gates, “AI will make human beings more productive”. AI will make people more smart and fast when it comes to decision making. 

Loss of Jobs because of AI? Really?

My answer to this is since when did an accountant or a mathematics teacher lost his job after the invention of arithmetic and scientific calculator. When a calculator came in the market it made man faster in terms of the calculating of transactions, balance sheets, etc. In the same way, Computer & Internet have made us more productive, you are reading this article on a computer(be it a smartphone or a PC), I have typed this on a PC, a major part of the e-commerce business depends on the internet, the entire social media business depends on the internet. Just like the internet, AI too will pave way for newer businesses, remember how a recommendation engine helps you in selecting a proper product in the e-commerce segment and how it helps you Google your search properly.

Conclusion

A chatbot application or a Computer Vision Application will still be considered a software application, a software development application, just like a smartphone will still be considered as a portable Computer. As I said earlier the demand for Software Engineers has not stabilized, it has only gained a wide spectrum because of the advancement in the Research & Development of technology. 

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