404339_AI Developers 2023 Banner_03

2022 has been a breakthrough year for AI. From developing new cutting edge technologies to leading successful ML teams, publishing new research and contributing to the growing community of AI developers – there’s a lot to be celebrated!

We set out to spotlight few data scientists, AI innovators and industry influencers who have contributed to the advancement of AI and are committed to moving AI forward in 2023. We asked them how they see AI evolving in the next 5 years, and what it takes to be successful in AI. 

Leonardo Neves

Research Scientist, Snap Inc.

As more people have access to this technology and can better understand how models make their decisions, AI will be used in even more use cases and creative ways.

In your opinion, what does it take to be successful in AI?
Being successful in AI requires being curious and able to adapt. The algorithms and tools I used in graduate school are already outdated. I had to constantly read and learn new things throughout my career, and not only topics related to my core area of research — Natural Language Processing — but also several other areas like Computer Vision, Graph Neural Networks, and even Psychology! A good mix of breadth and depth is encouraged if you are looking for a career in AI. Many ideas transcend a specific area of expertise and can help you be creative as you solve your problems.

How do you see AI evolving in the next 5 years?
AI development will continue to push the boundaries for how large models can get, but we will see a shift towards more efficient and explainable models in the next five years. With more efficient models, more researchers outside the most well-funded labs and companies will be able to contribute to the advances of AI in a meaningful way. As more people have access to this technology and can better understand how models make their decisions, AI will be used in even more use cases and creative ways.

Nermeen Louizi Ghoniem

AI Engineer, Jabra

〝AI has tremendous potential for good, which we absolutely must harness in the next 5 years and forward〞

In your opinion, what does it take to be successful in AI?
AI models are highly complex systems — they are designed, developed, and deployed in complex environments by many different stakeholders. This means that there is a lot of room for error and misuse. A successful AI developer is, therefore, eager to contribute and yearning to learn more but also understands the complexity of modern society and understands the value of collaboration – a true hybrid that can balance even the most complex situations and always has an eye for the bigger picture. Likewise, I believe it is crucial for anyone working with AI to be comfortable with the unknown and failures, in general as AI as a field embodies the following saying: “the path to success is paved with (accelerated) failures”.

How do you see AI evolving in the next 5 years?
AI has tremendous potential for good, which we absolutely must harness in the next 5 years and forward. From self-driving cars and AI-powered robotics to music recommendation apps and the recent rise of AI artists, AI is shaking up business as usual and will definitely continue to do so in the next 5 years. However, unless we change the way we think and talk about AI, AI can and will divide our society. It’s not a question of if but when. We need to change the mindset and attitude engineers have when engaging and developing AI. What I mean here is I’d like to please ask engineers, including myself, to acknowledge that yes, we have biases. And, that how these algorithms are going to look at any group of people and their role in society, it mainly comes from their creators – which is us. AI cannot be naturally fair or for example, gender-neutral, and engineers should not think about these issues as something divorced from their own role. And associated with that is encouraging more fact-based conversations about how all of this works. We need to stop hyping up the field, as we are only clouding laypersons’ understanding of the field. This is pivotal as I earnestly believe AI and technology as a whole can help bridge the digital divide and create an inclusive society, if not within the next 5 years, then within the next 10 years. To empower and educate people, we need to reveal and make more transparent how these analyses are being done and how to interpret some of the outcomes and decisions. We need to involve all of us in shaping the future of technology and our digital society.

Petar Veličković

Staff Research Scientist, DeepMind

〝It’s never too late to join in on the action – so long as you are highly motivated to stay on top of the field.〞

In your opinion, what does it take to be successful in AI?
Success in AI requires, primarily, tenacity in my opinion. It’s truly a field with one of the easiest ‘barriers of entry’, and it’s never too late to join in on the action — so long as you are highly motivated to stay on top of the field. I speak from experience: when I started my PhD in machine learning, I had _zero_ experience of modern deep learning methods. In fact, I spent the first few months of this PhD taking a Udacity course to learn TensorFlow! Not long later, I was making published research contributions in computer vision, and not long after that, I got admitted to a visiting position at Montréal’s prestigious Mila institute, where I published my top-cited paper on graph attention networks. A little perseverance, coupled with a decent grounding in linear algebra and probability, can truly go a long way.

How do you see AI evolving in the next 5 years?
I imagine that the next 5 years will see a very strong push towards achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI) and the plethora of amazing products and scientific discoveries that AGI will enable. Specifically, I expect a ‘synergistic’ union of our existing state-of-the-art perceptual models, with the rapid development of models for robustifying neural reasoning.

Celine Xu

Lead Data Scientist, H&M Group

〝More hybrid products will be created that have both AI and human insights together to generate value〞