A brand new pathway to make careers in AI extra accessible
The field of AI has developed at a remarkable rate in recent years. This growth offers tremendous opportunities for new researchers and engineers who are just starting their careers. But it can also be a challenge for software developers interested in transitioning to AI. When seasoned engineers want to make such a transition, they find that many positions require work experience in AI. These requirements can result in some job seekers earning additional degrees or certifications – either in their spare time while at work or by participating in a full-time program. However, this can be difficult or impractical for some skilled in the art. To find an alternative path to AI, Facebook is launching Rotational AI Science & Engineering (RAISE).
RAISE is a 24 month program that offers participants full-time employment with the Facebook AI team. It is designed to bring together a cohort of software engineers from a variety of industry experiences and backgrounds – from individual employees just a few years after school to seasoned engineers. After completing the 24-month program, the RAISE alumni aim to continue their employment with Facebook seamlessly by selecting a permanent Facebook AI team that matches their skills and interests. What sets RAISE apart from other programs in the industry is that all participants are full-time employees on Facebook from the start, offering each and every one of the benefits of an engineer in Facebook AI. With this innovative approach, RAISE can bring talented people with different backgrounds and different experiences to the field and give participants the opportunity to start their AI journey full-time on Facebook.
RAISE offers participants a valuable toolkit and portfolio of projects. As they participate in research tech rotations across the AI team, learn how to apply current research to current and upcoming products. Additionally, attendees can gain experience using PyTorch, developing cutting edge models, developing pipelines for machine learning, and more. RAISE provides a unique AI foundation through hands-on experience throughout the life cycle of exploration, development, measurement and deployment.
RAISE’s program design offers this possibility more than a series of high impact rotations. Participants start together as a cohort in July 2021 and all follow the same program schedule. This structure allows the group to learn together, share experiences and build connections with others in the program. Although they will work with many colleagues and teams during their rotation, each participant will have a single manager for the duration of the program. These managers have demonstrated their ability to form effective, diversified teams and effectively lead and mentor others. To enhance the experience, RAISE will facilitate participation in networking events, ongoing development opportunities, academic conferences and cohort specific experiences. Participants will also have the opportunity to travel internationally for hands-on experience with Facebook AI peers around the world.
Of course, there are many early career talent development programs in AI, including internships and AI residencies designed to offer BS, MS, and PhD students, as well as recent graduates, the opportunity to get involved across the field. These initiatives can be extremely valuable, but are usually temporary in nature. This means that they are not well suited for the vast majority of software developers who already have a full-time job. With RAISE, there is no full-time transition process and attendees will take a direct path to pursue a future in AI.
“The RAISE program is a big step in creating a more inclusive AI ecosystem needed to address today’s challenges in AI. This program could serve as a blueprint to create full-time AI opportunities for diverse communities,” said Susan Gonzales. CEO, AIandYou, a nonprofit that aims to educate diverse communities about AI.
As part of RAISE, we reach out to thought leaders and organizations that serve technology professionals from different backgrounds. We therefore have a broad and comprehensive pool of talented applicants.
“As AI technology continues to change daily life, it is important that those responsible for creating and deploying it are representative of everyone. However, women and people from other underrepresented backgrounds continue to face challenges when it comes to advancing into the field of AI. Programs that break non-traditional paths into AI are an important component in making AI careers more accessible, ”said the board of directors for Women in Machine Learning.
When experts with different perspectives work together, progress in AI comes faster. AI should be researched, built, and used by a diverse group of people to ensure that the technology reflects and serves them all. The field needs to make significant strides toward that goal, and we hope that RAISE will help attract people who may otherwise not have had careers in AI.
“There are real prejudices and challenges all over AI and ML that make it all the more imperative for companies to have their inclusivity talks. And it’s about a lot more than just giving blacks a seat at the table,” said Rhonda Allen , CEO of / dev / color, an organization focused on advancing Black software engineers. “We need black executives and people with historically marginalized backgrounds to build and control the future of the field at every stage – from design to launch to scaling and, most importantly, critical decision-making. Programs like RAISE and other similar industry initiatives are just running.” It makes it better. Tech gets better when we focus on the perspectives and leadership of people who are closest to the challenges we solve and the opportunities ahead. ”
If you want to apply for the first cohort from July 2021, read the RAISE program page.
Learn how to apply