As AI Lead, Hamed is currently working on an AI solution which can predict the future. For now, the customer is the top priority. Knowing customer’s next demand and interest helps us take the right actions. Originally from Iran, living and working in Germany for 14 years, he is now responsible for the work of several AI professionals, reviewing and mentoring different AI solutions and technologies.
Self-driving cars, advanced web search engines or automated decision-making systems. Just a few features in AI applications we use almost every day. It is also part of your life. What do you like about working with AI?
Hamed: I love making new discoveries from which I learn something original and new. It refreshes my mind. Last week we just learned about an AI technology that can identify pictures and write a text description about them. We tried it with Mona Lisa. AI describes it as an old painting with a smiling lady sitting in front of a landscape. It is fascinating. In a few years AI will be capable of so much more and the challenge is to manage it well.
Who will be in the lead then, humans or AI?
Hamed: As human beings we are in the driver’s seat. AI can crunch data and find patterns better than us, but it cannot enjoy the purpose of life, feel motivation, joy or love. That makes a huge difference. As AI professionals, we have an immense responsibility here and therefore also Telekom has defined AI guidelines. They describe how we at Deutsche Telekom want to deal with AI and how we will develop our AI-based products and services in the future.
AI is a fascinating topic. What steps should I be taking to set off on a similar career path?
Hamed: Go for a master’s degree or postgraduate studies in a field related to AI. If a formal education isn’t what you are looking for, take steps by online courses. Be careful about online YouTube videos that claim everything in AI is doable within 5 minutes! Upon some learning, search for jobs where you find a nice atmosphere, motivated and knowledgeable people around you.
And last but not least, keep learning and stay up to date. Do trainings on a regular basis. When it comes to AI, there are some emerging topics like deep learning, natural language processing etc. Follow advanced trends and topics.
How do you learn and grow? How has the company supported you in your career growth?
Hamed: I’m part of the Talent Hub program, in which I receive personal career consulting. It is like having a buddy/mentor to discuss possible ways forward on how to upgrade my career. My consultant has some good ideas and solutions and just talking to her is like talking to a friend, a self-reflection with the support of a mentor. Other than that Telekom offers many opportunities for learning and self-development.
Additionally, it is very fruitful to exchange knowledge with your colleagues. We have voluntary meetings where people can share ideas on technology topics. We chat, ask questions, and find solutions together. We also organize a series of talks on AI with external experts who can bring and present new topics. These exchanges are not only beneficial for the experts, but they are also vital for the future of the company and I’m happy to be a part of this process.