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How AI Singapore Taps on Generative AI to Enhance Recruitment

Published by: SkillsFuture Singapore


Recruiting Candidates for AI Singapore’s Apprenticeship Programme with AsKevin!

“If you are new to generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) and want to enter this field, there are two things you must have in order to succeed: commitment and the ability to learn fast,” advises Laurence Liew, who oversees the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) offered by AI Singapore.

Launched in May 2017, AI Singapore grows local talent through skills development and builds an ecosystem of Artificial Intelligence start-ups and companies to be at the forefront of AI capabilities in the region and the world. AIAP is a rigorous nine-month full-time programme with a stipend, comprising two months of intensive lessons and seven months of project work which trains you under the apprenticeship of an AI engineer.

Due to its highly competitive nature, on average, only 10% of applicants get accepted. There is also a 50% dropout rate for each stage of the AIAP recruitment process.

Using Generative AI to Increase Recruitment

AI Singapore engineers, staff and apprentices in discussion. Photo by AI Singapore.


Despite its competitiveness, the number of applications for this programme continues to rise. To address the need for the robust apprenticeship selection, AI Singapore has developed AsKevin!, a tool created by one of its AI engineers and two of his AIAP apprentices.

AsKevin! is a co-evaluator that accelerates the evaluation process of AIAP’s applicants’ technical test scripts during the application process. Working as a first cut to help the AI engineers access the code submissions, AsKevin! ensures the scoring is consistent, identifies mistakes, recommends solutions so applicants know where their weaknesses lie so as to work towards improvements. A “first of its kind” for AI programme recruitment, it uses a Socratic deep skills-thinking methodology to lead applicants to the answer instead of providing them with a direct answer.

For applicants who don’t make the first cut, AISG offers a four-week online bridging programme for free. Laurence says, “We will make sure we give you the right response to help you learn AI to encourage you to try again.”

Embracing the Ubiquitous Gen AI

AI engineers at work. Photo by AI Singapore.

 

In the near future, AI tools such as Microsoft’s 365 Co-Pilot and Google’s Duet AI will change the way enterprises and individuals work and use data. From turning PowerPoint content into a Word Document to converting spreadsheets’ data into a written report, Gen AI applications will impact all of us directly at home and in the office. Like it or not, no one will be able to avoid using Gen AI. This also makes learning Gen AI more popular than ever.

But what you do with your learned skills at the end affects what skills you should pick up from the start, Laurence cautions. “If you want to be an AI engineer, go ahead and learn Python [coding]. If you want to analyse data, don’t learn coding but take a non-programming course in data analytics, understand how to analyse data and use the appropriate algorithms and tools. No Python coding is required here.

“There are many excellent free and open-source GUI tools to do your analytics, prediction, classifications, etc. The key thing here is to understand how to work with the data, select the right algorithms, use the right set of tools and understand the output. In the near future, you will even be able to chat with your data and ask GenAI to analyse the data for you… no Python required!”


Advice for PMET with AI Skills

Laurence Liew speaking in a panel at the SkillsFuture Festival SME Conference 2023


From lawyers to accountants to mechanical engineers to fresh grads in social sciences, AIAP apprentices come from diverse backgrounds, from those in their late 20s, early 30s to their 40s. Many of them lack a computer science background but this does not pose a barrier in their learning for they all have one thing in common: passion for AI.

Noting that some of the AIAP graduates are mid-career PMETs, Laurence thinks they should rejoin their industry instead of looking for a new job in the AI field. “If you have been an accountant for 15 years, would you want to join a start-up on a fresh grad salary?

“My advice is to go back to the industry you are familiar with and use your new AI knowledge to lead the industry transformation. Even the Big 4 are actively seeking people with AI skills. With your plus skills and domain knowledge, you are at an advantage than others.”

Click here for the AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP)

Check out some courses here if you are keen to learn more about AI.
 

 

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Last updated on 14 Dec 2023