Should You Become a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer?

Take the first step towards your machine learning engineering career and explore the UC San Diego Extension Machine Learning Engineering Bootcamp today. Those with prior software engineering or data science experience are encouraged to apply.

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Artificial intelligence has opened up a plethora of opportunities in the business world. But, there are not enough human resources available to support this revolution that artificial intelligence brings along. This is where it makes sense for businesses to hire freelance professionals with AI skills who can develop smart solutions th)(rough intuitive software programs.

If you are looking forward to a career as a freelance artificial intelligence engineer, read on.


10 Must-Have Skills For a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer

To be a successful freelance artificial intelligence engineer, you’ll need to build your skills through relevant education and experience. Here are some important skills employers will be looking for:

  1. Understanding of concepts in machine learning, predictive analytics, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), sentiment analysis, image recognition, etc.
  2. How to use tools such as TensorFlow, Scikit-learn, Keras, etc.
  3. How to build intelligent chatbots using Python or Node.js
  4. How to create smart systems through speech recognition using APIs from Amazon, Google Cloud Speech, and IBM Watson
  5. How to build machine learning models for anomaly detection
  6. How to apply AI for IoT applications
  7. How to train bots using reinforcement learning
  8. How to use tools such as Gephi, Tableau, Matplotlib, and so on for data visualization
  9. How to create intelligent apps using machine learning APIs from Google, IBM Watson and
  10. How to implement AI models using Java, Scala, and so on


Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer Salary & Earnings

The good news is that there are multiple websites where freelance artificial intelligence engineers can seek jobs. One website which you can consider when looking for AI freelancing jobs is Upwork. It is a hybrid marketplace where you can find jobs as well as hire freelancers. The platform charges a fee only when the client is satisfied with your work and has enabled payments for it. You can also consider and Guru, which have similar business models.

LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Job Report lists artificial intelligence as the top emerging job in the United States, with 74% growth in demand for the role over the past four years. Demand is expected to continue for AI specialists who can develop applications and systems which use deep learning and other intelligent processes. Companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook are constantly looking out for AI specialists who can work on projects requiring machine learning specialists.

Freelance AI engineers are making an average salary of $134,168, according to Zip Recruiter. However, this number can go up depending on your level of expertise and the kind of project for which you are hired. For instance, if you are conducting research in the field of AI, your salary can be as high as $152,000 per year.

Freelance AI engineers may be preferred over full-time professionals by some companies because they are flexible with their timings and can work from anywhere in the world. They are also cost-effective since companies do not have to spend on office infrastructure or create a suitable environment for their employees.


What Can You Expect In the Future as a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer?

Artificial intelligence is no longer a concept that is in its experimental stages. It has already been embraced by businesses across all sectors, and there are going to be more jobs in the future for professionals who can bring this technology into action. Here are some of the key areas where AI engineers can make a difference:

  • Chatbots and virtual assistants. Artificial intelligence will make it possible to develop chatbots that can understand user queries and respond accordingly. How is this different from virtual assistants like Alexa & Siri? Well, AI-based chatbots can be trained to learn about your preferences as well as those of others based on the data they have for various individuals.
  • Narrow AI vs. general AI. Developing narrow intelligence is the key to making AI-based chatbots and virtual assistants successful. Google Assistant and Siri, for instance, only respond to specific queries and commands. They cannot entertain an open conversation like humans can because they lack "general" intelligence which makes them understand the world and interact naturally.
  • Machine learning-based apps. How do you find a cab to reach your destination? How can you find the best deals on flight tickets for your upcoming trip? These are some of the questions that will be answered by machine learning algorithms as there is going to be an increasing demand for such applications in daily life.


Take the Next Step Towards Becoming a Freelance AI Engineer

If you have prior experience in software engineering/data science or advanced knowledge of Python and want to pivot into artificial intelligence engineering, the UC San Diego Extension Machine Learning Engineering Bootcamp can help you develop the skills and experience necessary.

You’ll be paired with an industry mentor who will meet with you one-on-one every week. Over the course of this 6-month, 100% online program, you’ll master the applied skills you need to get hired in six months. Develop your hands-on experience through 15+ mini-projects designed to reinforce technical concepts—plus a capstone project to showcase in your professional portfolio.

Once you complete the bootcamp, you’ll be able to deploy machine learning algorithms and build a complete machine learning application, and you’ll earn a certificate of completion and UCSD Extension alumni status.

Take the first step towards your machine learning engineering career and explore the UC San Diego Extension Machine Learning Engineering Bootcamp today. Those with prior software engineering or data science experience are encouraged to apply.