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7 September, 2017 - 13:27 By Tony Quested

Cambridge analysis lifts lid on demand for AI talent

Cambridge Data Insights Sobia

Under the hood intel by a Cambridge startup has revealed the unprecedented demand for talented technicians skilled in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence – and the disconnect between demand and supply.

A survey of over 1000 mostly UK-based developers has identified key technical skills lacking today and preventing widespread industry adoption of AI and ML. 

The results showed that 76 per cent of technical skillsets desired by developers are in AI and ML, with particular skills sought in Python and R, deep learning architectures such as Tensorflow and Caffe amongst others as well as Big Data infrastructure such as Apache Spark and Hadoop.

The survey was performed with members of UK-based Data Insights in Cambridge, a community of high-level developers, and was setup to facilitate learning in the fields of AI, ML and Big Data.

Dr Sobia Hamid, founder of Cambridge Data Insights (CDI), who conducted the survey, said: “What these results demonstrate is that there is a clear appetite for developing the expertise to be competitive in AI and ML, but why aren’t we seeing a greater uptake? 

“It could be down to a number of factors such as the variety of learning opportunities, developing the business case and support in the workplace, and the lack of opportunities to be involved in an AI/ML project in the workplace. We’ll be looking to explore these issues and more in follow-on research.”

Advances in computing, algorithms, data and expertise have the potential to transform the ability of firms to meet the needs of customer expectations, and increase competitiveness and profitability. Keeping pace with these changes is a significant challenge for the years ahead, says Dr Hamid.

Cambridge Data Insights is a new AI and ML consulting firm. It provides technical learning and development programmes and management consultancy, helping businesses to develop both expertise and strategic know-how to lead in the new digital age.

CDI was founded by Dr Hamid – a University of Cambridge alumnus – progressing from the data science learning community she founded in 2011, Data Insights Cambridge.


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