3 AI Jobs Perfect for SCU Grads
Dean Ku M.A. '09
Santa Clara graduates are uniquely qualified to play an important role in the responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI). AI’s impact on society and the future of work will be highly disruptive—with significant benefits as well as challenges. SCU graduates are not only trained to achieve academic excellence in fields like business and engineering, but they are also taught to become men and women of conscience and compassion, equally versed in ethics, empathy, and concern for others while making a positive contribution to society.
Here are three AI positions that are perfect for SCU grads:
1. Automation Ethicist
Despite the positive benefits of AI for businesses and society, there are many potential downsides, including job displacement and unconscious gender bias amplified by machine-learning software trained on faulty data-sets. In a recent MIT study, less than 33 percent of companies have a high degree of confidence in the fairness and auditability of their AI systems.
Automation Ethicists will monitor and ensure that AI systems are operating as designed and address unintended consequences quickly should they arise. SCU graduates educated in the Jesuit tradition of pursuing challenges with ethics, respect for others, and concern for the common good, are perfectly positioned to play a leading role in the development of AI in Silicon Valley.
2. AI Interaction Designer
Artificial Intelligence interfaces need a personality—think Alexa or Siri. They need to understand what users want through natural language, but also need a differentiated “design style” to build relationships with users.
The role of a successful AI Interaction Designer requires individuals to be deeply collaborative and able to work with others from very different disciplines including psychology to understand the user, creative writing to inject personality into conversations, linguistics to understand the mechanics of language, and computer science to convert words to code.
SCU grads have a reputation for excellent soft skills and a team-oriented approach to work. Employers consistently praise SCU grads for their collaborative nature, lack of ego, and attitude of wanting to help. In fact, it’s why a CEO hires SCU grads over Stanford Grads.
3. AI/Healthcare Bot Trainer
Humans need to train AI systems to be more effective and to include empathy in their interactions. Empathy training teaches AI systems how to show compassion. Research shows that words may only capture 7 percent of how humans communicate emotion. Tone of voice and gestures like smiling, waving, or shrugging your shoulders often account for the emotion that would otherwise be lost by analysis of only words. This would be particularly important for future AI powered virtual healthcare assistants and healthcare bots.
SCU grads cultivate the practice of compassion through the Experiential Learning for Social Justice (ELSJ) component of Santa Clara University’s core curriculum and would understand, firsthand, the importance and necessity of empathy in service to others. This deeply understood value would be highly applicable to those charged with training AI systems.
The mission of SCU’s Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation best captures why its graduates are well positioned to contribute to the responsible integration of AI into society as it supports “Santa Clara University’s vision and goals for STEM education, which emphasize developing technical expertise, an entrepreneurial mindset, ethical reasoning, and collaborative approaches to tackling society’s most urgent challenges.”