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How to Become a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer

4 minute read | October 29, 2021
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta

Artificial intelligence aims at imparting human cognitive abilities to machines and business processes. Just imagine how smart machines would get with artificial intelligence giving them the skills of reasoning and human-like thoughts. Artificial intelligence has always looked at building systems with human intelligence for better task execution and efficiency. Over the last few years, there has been significant progress in the fields of machine learning and deep learning, which has led to an enhanced ecosystem for AI applications in business processes.

Artificial Intelligence today is finding application in almost all domains like healthcare, supply chain and logistics, transport, banking and agriculture, to name a few. This comprehensive study from McKinsey depicts AI as the next frontier of a technological revolution in business. Although artificial intelligence is often portrayed as a job killer for the current workforce, the reality is somewhat different. Experts predict that AI will create more and better opportunities for people who are willing to up-skill themselves. Businesses will strive towards inclusive technology giving shape to hybrid workforces. In this blog, let’s find out how to become a freelance artificial intelligence engineer.

How to Become a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer

  1. Coding skills

  2. Knowledge of machine learning

  3. Data analytics

  4. Liaison between different teams

There are numerous freelancing platforms where you can kick start your career as a freelance artificial intelligence engineer. But you can only be successful as one once you have the required skillset and can market your skills effectively. Let’s take a look at the prerequisites you must have.

  • Coding skills

For considering a career as an artificial intelligence engineer, you must be proficient in coding languages like Python (most popular language in the field of data science), C, C++. Since AI is multi-disciplinary technology, knowledge of machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow and expertise in data analytics languages like R is also needed to be successful.

  • Knowledge of machine learning

Machine learning is an important sub-domain of AI as it gives the systems the ability to learn dynamically and have a better response to scenarios. Artificial intelligence engineers must be experts in developing machine learning algorithms to tackle real-world problems.

  • Data analytics

Artificial Intelligence Engineers must have the ability to utilise data analytics tools to effectively power AI-driven applications. Data plays an important role in today’s internet age and is of no use if not handled appropriately.

  • Liaison between different teams

Although in the freelancing scenario you must always strive towards working as a full stack developer, at times you might want to act as a bridge between different teams like Data Scientists, ML Engineers or senior AI Engineers depending on the scale of the project. Artificial intelligence Engineers must have a bird’s eye view of proceedings in such scenarios.

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Why are Artificial Intelligence Engineers Critical for Business Success?

Last few years have seen a major paradigm shift in AI implementation in businesses. AI-driven organisations are doing better as compared to their peers as AI is driving automation and analytics with better efficiency. Since the application of AI is not limited to a domain, a good AI workforce is the need of the hour for organisations.

That said, in their early stages, AI-driven applications will need considerable support from a professional workforce since the success of a business will depend on the effective full-scale deployment of AI applications.

How Freelancing Helps Businesses and Individuals Achieve More

Pursuing AI as a career is an exciting thought for many nowadays, but how to get started is the first obstacle they face. A smart way to tackle this conundrum is to consider starting out as a Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer. Freelancing is flexible enough to allow you to experiment in relatively newer technologies like AI without taking the risk of actually quitting your full-time job. It provides you with an option to keep learning, and at the same, be on the lookout for industrial projects. You may think so, but freelancing is not just limited to part-time opportunities as many professionals prefer full-time freelance work culture over conventional jobs. It offers several benefits like

  • Flexible working hours
  • Better work-life balance
  • High pay for both full time and part-time projects
  • Flexibility to work as much you want

Freelance talent has become an instant hit among businesses too. They no longer have to expand their workforce for just one project, since with freelancers they can onboard them on a project basis. Some businesses have even adopted the concept of the complete remote workforce as that saves them the extra cost of setting up an office and building infrastructure. Here’s a study from Upwork giving insights on how fortune 500 companies like Dropbox, Airbnb and Samsung are on a lookout for freelance talent saving crucial time and money.

Organisations have realised the potential of AI-driven businesses and even in early stages have started working on boosting AI infrastructure and talent pool with extensive investment. Considering this, AI is set to create jobs at a significant rate, predicts KPMG’s report on ‘AI transforming the Enterprise’. The freelance talent will play a major role in occupying these jobs as most of the early adopters of AI think outside the box and have no issues considering freelance talent. Although freelancing is a demanding job at the early stages of developing a profile, you will reap benefits later if you focus on creating long term relationships with clients. Machine learning and data analytics freelancers are the highest paid ones among freelance skills, and thus the number is only bound to grow in future.

Wondering where to begin your Freelance Artificial Intelligence Engineer career? Try taking an online course to acquire the necessary skills. We recommend opting for a focused AI and ML learning program offered by Springboard that offers real-world projects, 1:1 mentorship, career coaching and a job guarantee. Having launched thousands of students across 100+ countries into professional success, Springboard is an avenue that can help you take your career to new heights.

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.