“We need everybody to contribute to artificial intelligence,” Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, the head of Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning (AML) research division, tells Business Insider.
Candela is speaking about Facebook itself, sure, as the social network is racing against the other major tech titans to hire as many artificial intelligence and machine learning experts as it can all over the world, even as it makes AI crucial to the way it builds products and does business.
But he’s also speaking broadly: As Facebook, Google, Microsoft and even Elon Musk make big bets that artificial intelligence is integral to the future of computing, there literally aren’t enough experts with the right skills available to hire.
“You can’t hire enough people who are machine learning experts in the world,” says Candela.
So Facebook wants to create more AI experts.
The company has a new outreach campaign that explains how artificial intelligence is neither scary nor incomprehensible — it’s just another tool in the programmers’ toolbelt that can help them build “new experiences,” and a set of skills that are going to be incredibly valuable in the future.
Here’s a new Facebook video, starring Facebook AI chief Yann Lecun, that tries to explain in simple terms how scary-sounding terms like “deep learning” are really just maths:
From Candela’s perspective, this is a small part of a necessary larger outreach to the next generation of programmers.
In the same way that people 15 to 20 years ago ended up wishing that they had studied computer science more closely in school once the PC revolution was underway, he says, it’s “quite obvious” that 10 years from now, lots of people, programmers included, are going to wish they studied artificial intelligence. So if you want to work for Facebook, it’s definitely the right field to study.
“There’s just a gap,” Candela says.
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