Starting a career in AI young

Starting a career in AI young

Becoming an AI engineer at 17 is no mean feat but that is what Luqman Fairuz, Skymind engineering department’s youngest recruit, has achieved.

Armed with A Levels qualification and looking forward to studying economics abroad, Luqman’s fate took a different turn when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted his plans last year. His interest in AI piqued when his parents suggested he learn coding and find out more about the field.

Luqman took his first step towards an AI career by enrolling in a two-month AI programme developed by Skymind at Forward School in Penang. By the end of the course in July, Luqman sat for the Certified Deep Learning Engineer (CDLE) exam which certifies AI engineers – giving him the opportunity to be hired by Skymind.

Currently 18, Luqman holds the position of a Junior Deep Learning Engineer. His tasks include building data pipelines and UI/UX design or pre-processing data, along with training and deploying AI models into the real world.

“I’ve worked on different projects which have different requirements and needs,” he says, adding that he gets a lot of support from his colleagues and superiors who share their experience apart from gaining knowledge on AI concepts from online forums and blogs.

Luqman plans to get involved in new types of projects in future and hopes to be able to revolutionise AI in sports analytics one day. “Team or opposition analysis today is still widely reliant on human eyes so it would be really interesting if AI can play a big part in helping teams or individuals win matches.”

He believes that AI will be more extensively adopted over the next few years as open-source code and technologies become further liberalised, and companies view AI as cost-effective and necessary to catch up with their competitors.

“Researchers are always proposing new AI models which are more accurate and precise so more companies will be desperate to join the AI revolution,” says Luqman.

For anyone who is curious about what AI is like or wants to get involved in it, Luqman recommends going through tutorials or introductory videos on Youtube and reading blogs.

“My personal favourites are on data science. They provide detailed instructions and explanations on all sorts of AI related projects and concepts. This makes it very easy for anybody regardless of their skill level to follow and learn.”