In episode 1 of the “Mentor from Afar” podcast with Maribel Lopez, Maribel mentioned that 2021 will be an important year for AI. She said 2021 may be the year that businesses put action behind their investments.  In a whitepaper from Appen, company executives surveyed mentioned that “even before the pandemic, companies were upping their investments in AI—to the tune of 4.6% on average over the last year (to about $38 million for each firm). Over the next three years, they plan to nearly double that increase to 8.3% per year.”

Companies will look to move beyond Robotic Process Automation 2021 and focus on core product innovation and models that can impact their business.  From developers, to business leaders to medical professionals, artificial intelligence is omnipresent.  How do you get started with AI and what skills will be important to learn in 2021 and beyond?

A Great Place To Start

A great place to start is the Consumer Technology Association whitepaper on  “What is Artificial Intelligence”.  It will provide a good overview on what the terms mean from Machine Learning to Robotics.  Having a basic understanding of the different types of AI ensures you are conversant in a primary trend in 2021.

Learning Opportunities for 2021

People Leaders, Product Professionals, Civic Positions, Executives – 

  • Understand the terminology of artificial intelligence.  
  • Be a change leader pushing in investments in A.I. that solve problems in a new way, not just improving existing processes.  For example, companies are using AI to complete mortgage processing steps, but with leveraging Robotic Process Automation.  Instead, reinvent the mortgage process using models to determine a proper risk score.   
  • Solve for the A.I. modeler/requestor gap.   One of the largest issues with successful A.I. implementations is when the requestor gives the artificial intelligence model professional a bunch of data or digital experience and wants them to improve it.  The “requestor” needs to clearly depict the problem to be solved and if possible, a hypothesis on what they would like to get out of it. 

A.I. Professionals

  • Solve for the A.I. modeler/requestor gap.   This is the flip side of the requestor issue.  A.I. professionals excel at “doing math”.  Use 2021 to learn about the business and/or product, so when new product and experience improvements present themselves through the data, you can understand what the data is telling you.


  • Add modeling and the languages of  Artificial Intelligence programming to your arsenal. The common programming languages in A.I. include: C ++, Java, Lisp, Prolog, Python and R.

Digital Designers 

  • Experiences of the future will be made up of microservices leveraging APIs.  Designers should incorporate designing for small components that A.I. will help “select” the right component for each situation.  

If you have an idea about how you can help other people with Artificial Intelligence, now is the time to sign up on Gunschu as a mentor today!