How I studied AI to find myself, and I found a community instead.
Artificial intelligence today plays a massive role in strengthening and transforming industries around the world. And because of the Covid crisis, Fifty-two percent of companies accelerated their AI adoption plans in the last 18 months.
New and accessible technology, exciting new applications and the promise of a big paycheck are attracting many young people to pick AI as a potential career, but even with all the growth and optimistic forecast, the lack of trained and experienced staff is an expected restriction in the AI’s future.
Consider this: Currently U.S. universities graduate around 50,000 international graduate students in AI-related fields per year. But just in 2019, the number of Computer and Information Sciences graduates in the workforce was 2.17M!!!
The world needs AI talent and this is the story of a few students in search of love in the corporate world.
Viktor Öberg: I don’t know if you are supposed to love your job, but I would like to spend my days doing what I love.
I’ve always done things that I love: Music and Yoga, and there is a point with every passion when you are forced to do it as a performance, not just because you love it, and at that moment it stopped being as fun, at least for me.
I grew up with the dream of being in a band, playing several different instruments. But 2 years ago, being 28, and after several years inside the trying-to-make-it wheel, I realized that the music business is super hard, you need mad skills, but also, you need excellent timing and luck.
One day I told myself, let’s do something completely different, anything where I can integrate creativity with solution-driven processes.
So, in the fall of 2020, I applied to Hyper Island without really knowing what I wanted to do! I applied to 4 different programs.
In part because I also believe in life having a master plan, a sense of destiny, like things are supposed to happen, so I let destiny decide.
When I received the agreement letter from Hyper it said: AI Business Consultant, I told myself, I know nothing about this, let’s do this!
When we started I met people with completely different backgrounds and skills, and not necessarily engineers or computer science graduates. We had in common that we were all very different actually.
Very few of us in the class have a technical background, but I think that we excel at finding and understanding the right problem to solve, identifying the consumer pain points, creating and facilitating workshops, and feeling comfortable with uncertainty which are definitely Hyper Island skills.
Two months away from graduating, my classmates and I are dealing with a lot of uncertainties: I’m part of the class of students graduating from the first-ever AI Business Consultant program. That means That there isn’t anybody we couldn’t ask for advice, and we couldn’t follow somebody’s steps. Also, the field of AI is relatively new and a rapidly changing landscape, and to make things more interesting we are graduating into a role that for most companies is not clearly defined, in Sweden at least.
In Hyper you have the Hyper Island Fair to help students find internships or jobs. But one year ago, there weren’t many people actively looking for young talent in the AI field. So a friend of mine David and I decided to create an AI Jobs Fair. We reached out to Peter Kurzwelly, leading strategic partnerships at AIAI Sweden and together we landed on AI Think Tank.
“I believe that all experiences are good, and the combination of all those experiences applied to what you do is an advantage. Even if you need to do it virtually.” Viktor Öberg
Our goal was to create a network of mind-like people. A place for learning and sharing, but also a place where you could find mentors, internships, and work opportunities. A space where we could apply the AI Think Tank’s leading words: “Connect, Discuss, Innovate”.
We feel that there is a real need for small businesses to understand where to start with AI, for big businesses to manage change into becoming an AI-ready organization, and for every business to demystify AI
Today the AI Think Tank is an online event where you can find people passionate about AI, you can learn from experts, but you can also collaborate with other participants to work on tasks and challenges that change with the topic.
Since we are graduating in two months, we want to hand over the AI Think Tank platform to the next class, which is the second class, graduating in 2023. So Masae Ebersson volunteered to lead this effort with three other AI Business Consultant students and here she is!
Masae Ebersson: The best way to gain knowledge is to share the knowledge, so it’s good for the AI Think Tank founders to bring us on, it’s good for us to learn from them and it’s good for the participants. It’s a win-win-win situation. Hyper wins, AI Sweden wins and the students win.
Until recently I was working as an office manager at a large online casino & sports betting company but I realized I wanted to do something to make society a better place to live. I decided to search what kind of technologies will be good for the future and for a sustainable planet, so we can provide a future for our children.
I learned that using Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the most efficient way to achieve UN sustainable goals. And that’s why I decided to join the AI Business consultant program at Hyper Island.
I’ve also learned AI won’t take your job, it will create more jobs, more opportunities for humans.
“Any idea can be creative as long as you elaborate them, and I do it with discipline and structure.” Masae Ebersson
The AI Think Tank is planned and directed by Viktor Öberg, David Andersen, Tosca Malm, Filip Romeling, Masae Ebersson, Levi Szasz, Adrian Glinqvist & Harris Vagelopoulos from the AI Business Consultant Program at Hyper Island. Together with Peter Kurzwelly from AI Sweden they have created a community with the main mission to bring together business leaders and create more awareness about today’s AI opportunities and challenges with the three lead words CONNECT, DISCUSS, INNOVATE.
Join the AI Think Tank Check List Series to get up to speed with everything you need to know about AI: https://www.eventbrite.se/e/ai-think-tank-the-ai-checklist-series-1-start-with-data-tickets-256635362277
This interview is part of Empowered Change — A series of transformational stories from our students, our clients, our employees and our collaborators.
Empowered to inspire change in people and society.