UAE jobs: Can machine learning skills improve career prospects? Expert explains

Auto ML is a step towards democratising AI; it can go a long way for ensuring that data driven decision making is adopted

By H. P. Ranina

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Published: Sat 5 Nov 2022, 2:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Nov 2022, 2:43 PM

Question: I have very little exposure to data analytics. However, I am told that auto ML (automated machine learning) is the new opportunity available to those with a non-technical background. Is this true and what are the prospects for one’s career? I have a mechanical engineering background.

ANSWER: The need for ML experts is growing by leaps and bounds. The annual growth in the last four years has been double than for any other emerging job. Machine Learning is still in its early days and therefore not enough persons are available who have experience in this field.

Auto ML is about automating the process of applying machine learning techniques to produce accelerated artificial intelligence modules. Auto ML has become a trending topic in the industry as it simplifies the AI development process by which a few lines of code can generate the code which is necessary to develop a ML model. Auto ML is therefore a step towards democratizing AI; it can go a long way for ensuring that data driven decision making is adopted across a variety of business functions within enterprises.

A new pool of talented persons is emerging, known as citizen data scientists, who are armed with auto ML tools. The scale and speed with which ML models can be deployed with the help of auto ML tools is leading to its adoption in a wide range of industries.


Question: There are mixed signals in India regarding creation of new jobs for the growing number of young graduates who are entering the employment market every year. Is there any factual data available on this issue?

ANSWER: There is no doubt that new job opportunities have been created during the past five years considering the fact that almost a trillion rupees have been spent on infrastructure development like construction of roads, expressways, mass rapid transit systems, airports, seaports, container terminals, etc. The factual data is available with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization. In August this year alone, 1.69 million subscribers were added which is an increase of 14.4% compared to the same month in 2021. Among the new entrants, more than half a million were in the age group of 18 to 25. However, the EPFO data pertains to the formal sector. In the informal sector comprising of micro, small and medium enterprises, the number of employees has increased dramatically for which no figures are captured by Government agencies. In addition, the number of self-employed businessmen, traders and other professionals has gone up for which again no official data is available. In the transportation sector, the number of passenger and goods vehicles has increased by almost three times during the past ten years. Therefore, the number of persons who are directly and indirectly involved per vehicle would provide a significant source of employment.

Question: Water pollution and sewerage treatment are some of the biggest challenges faced in cities of the sub-continent. This has caused flooding and the spread of water borne diseases. Will the authorities be able to tackle this problem in the coming years with flooding becoming common due to climate change?

ANSWER: Municipal authorities in almost all cities find it difficult to meet the challenges of flooding, water pollution and sewerage treatment. The major problem faced by these authorities is that they do not know the exact location of the underground pipeline network, making it difficult to repair and maintain them regularly. This results in 80% of the sewage being discharged in the environment untreated, impacting lakes, rivers and the coastline. However, engineers who have returned to India have suggested measures to solve this problem by using robotics artificial intelligence. The wastewater infrastructure is now being upgraded by using technology. Data is being collected through robotic cameras which are inserted in the underground pipeline network. Drones are used to identify and clear blockages which are mechanically removed; this was earlier done through manual scavenging. Waterproof cameras are mounted on drone units to provide a high definition display which helps to identify the substance blocking the pipes which is then removed mechanically, without human intervention.

H. P. Ranina is a practising lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.

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