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9 Critical Skills Tech Workers Need in the Emerging AI Era

By Arooj Shakeel
October 5, 2023

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Employees need to prepare themselves with the necessary skills for this new future because working with artificial intelligence will become “as inherent” as how we work with the internet. 

Contrary to popular belief, not all crucial skills are tech-related. Tech workers should concentrate on problem-solving and communication in addition to new programming languages, machine learning, and natural language processing. 

That’s because AI will develop to be more like an assistant that needs guidance, direction, and correction rather than a brand-new tool. AI constantly evolves, and those interacting with it must do the same. To be successful now and in the coming years, tech workers must learn the critical skills listed below.

Machine Learning (ML) 

The process of teaching machines to learn from data is known as machine learning (ML). This objective is achieved by exposing them to a large amount of data and instructing them to spot patterns, predict the future, and carry out tasks. An autonomous vehicle is a good example of a machine that has been trained in this manner. Without human intervention, these vehicles use ML algorithms and models to navigate roads, identify obstacles, and make driving decisions. Training for these machines involves exposing them to much data, such as images, sensor readings, and examples of human driving actions. Based on this information, vehicles learn to recognize patterns and make predictions. 


As the foundation for many ML techniques, such as regression analysis, hypothesis testing, probability theory, Bayesian inference, experimental design, model evaluation and validation, sampling techniques, time series analysis, anomaly detection, estimation, and confidence intervals, statistics is regarded as a core competency for tech workers in AI. The statistical knowledge required to carry out each of these techniques should be taught to tech workers in AI.

Deep Learning

Artificial neural networks (ANNs), a class of ML models grounded on the structure and function of the human brain, are a type of machine learning (ML) used to simulate the human brain through deep learning. These models are used to find intricate patterns and relationships in data. 

They are effective tools for completing tasks involving pattern recognition, regression, classification, and generative modeling. Deep neural networks are just regular neural networks that have several hidden layers. These models can carry out more complicated tasks like learning hierarchical representations and analyzing massive amounts of data. Tech professionals should master deep learning techniques with an interest in AI. They include generative adversarial networks, recurrent neural networks, and convolutional neural networks, all of which can process and analyze data organized in grids.

Data Science

It is a multidisciplinary method for analyzing large amounts of data that combines ideas and techniques from statistics, mathematics, artificial intelligence, and computer engineering. Data science is significant because it combines tools, techniques, and technology to derive meaning from data. An abundance of devices that can automatically gather and store data has flooded modern organizations with data. Paymet portals and online systems collect more data in e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and every other aspect of human life. We can access enormous amounts of text, audio, video, and image data. 


Machines are now able to comprehend human language thanks to natural language processing (NLP). The majority of people have already used virtual voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana as an example of how NLP is used. These virtual assistants use NLP to recognize and respond to user commands.

Programming Languages

Numerous tech professionals are already proficient in a number of programming languages. Because high-performing AI applications are frequently developed using languages like Python, R, Java, and C++, this skill is even more crucial in the age of artificial intelligence. Particularly, R is well-liked among data scientists for statistical analysis, and Python is widely used due to its simplicity and versatility.


Cloud Computing

Cloud computing enables developers to create scalable AI applications. The recommendation system utilized by sizable e-commerce platforms like Amazon illustrates this type of application. These websites use AI algorithms to offer users tailored recommendations. This product improves their services, boosts customer satisfaction, and encourages consumers to spend more money. These recommendation systems make extensive use of user and product preference data. 


Another important area of AI is robotics, so tech workers should become familiar with robot programming, motion planning, and control. Robot programming is developing instructions or code that allow robots to perform specific tasks autonomously or with human supervision. Programmers must define the sequence of actions, behaviors, and decision-making processes a robot must follow to accomplish its goals. Motion planning is the process of determining a reasonable path or trajectory for a robot to take from its current position to another while avoiding obstacles and considering its limitations. This skill entails computing and optimizing robot motions to enable efficient and safe movements for the robot, other humans, and machines.

Robot control is the management and regulation of a robot’s behavior, actions, and operations. It includes focusing on individual robot component control and higher-level decision-making and coordination. The process necessitates the development of algorithms, hardware, and software systems that allow robots to interact with their surroundings, execute tasks, and carry out specific actions.

Non-Technical Skills  

Excellent problem-solving skills are beneficial in most industries. Still, they are especially important in technology, where much of the work involves developing new products and services, a process that only sometimes goes as planned. Because AI is a new field, problem-solving skills are even more important. AI tech workers must be able to think creatively to develop solutions to complex problems.

As previously stated, collaboration is a common practice in AI application development. As with any application development, teams work together to create the end product by combining their various skills. AI tech workers may have expertise in data science, domains, software, or other areas, and they must be able to collaborate effectively with others. Active listening, knowing what information to present, and the ability to relinquish control to the group while working toward a common goal are all required for effective collaboration.

Critical thinking is the ability to accurately analyze and evaluate information in order to make sound decisions. As a result, it is yet another critical skill for AI tech workers because it allows them to assess the suitability of various algorithms and models for specific tasks. It also enables them to detect data biases and assess the ethical implications of AI applications. Strong critical thinking skills allow tech workers to approach complex problems logically and analytically, resulting in the design of effective AI systems and the ability to address their present challenges.

Communication, like problem-solving, is extremely useful in almost every job in any industry. However, explaining complex AI concepts is especially useful when working with AI, particularly when non-technical stakeholders and team members are involved. Tech workers must be able to present their ideas, both verbally and in writing. Effective communication is especially important when working on a team to develop AI applications. 

Finally, AI tech workers must adopt a continuous learning and professional development mindset. It entails reading current research papers, following AI blogs and publications, attending conferences, and participating in webinars or workshops to stay current on the latest technology.

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