Recommended Listening: Finding the right AI talent

Organizations working to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) often have the same vexing question: how do they successfully attract, hire and retain AI talent in their existing workforce?

"First of all ... be true to yourself," says Stephanie Enders, Amii's VP of Product.

Earlier this month, Enders joined the Alberta Impact podcast, presented by the Information Communications Technology Council (ICTC), to discuss how businesses can successfully adopt artificial intelligence in their work. The podcast is part of a series around the Talent Acquisition for the Digital Economy Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.

She says there can sometimes be a temptation to treat AI talent as separate from the rest of an organization's culture. However, that's something organizations should avoid.

"They are really motivated by the intricacies of the domain, how passionate you are about the domain you work in and how their work can contribute to that,” she tells host Bryce Lambert.

“I think talent really wants to know how they can ... use their skillset in a unique way in your business."

Enders says that with the intense interest surrounding AI adoption, industry is often concerned about the volume of technical talent available. However, she points to a recent white paper authored by Amii and Microsoft that finds while that is an issue, there's also a skills gap on the non-technical side of the equation. Organizations need to understand the potential of AI and act strategically to find the workers that are the best fit for their team. Part of that means being active in the artificial intelligence community.

Of course, bringing on AI workers is only the beginning. The most important thing, Enders says, is making sure they have the tools to succeed once hired. Part of that goes back to making sure they are an integral part of the organization. Many new employees worry about being siloed off, especially those entering industries that are just beginning to adopt AI. Creating a strong team that works closely together is key, she says.

"There is this fear of being an island onto themselves that has to figure everything out on their own, and they won't have a mentor."

Even if a company is only just starting to think about AI adoption, she says it is vital to show interest in the potential of the technology. Attending meet-ups, taking online workshops and being a part of the ecosystem are all signals that an organization is ready to be an AI leader. And that helps attract top talent.

“Even if you don’t have all your ducks in a row … you can start seeding yourself as an employer who is interested in where the industry is going.”

Check out the full Alberta Impact episode to hear more about Enders' insights into AI adoption.

Online workshops are a great starting point for those wanting to start adopting AI and being part of the ecosystem – whether you’re technically minded or not. Learn how Amii's ML Foundation courses can give you an overview of applied machine learning, the problems it can help solve and the Machine Learning Process Lifecycle.

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