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From philosophy to AI: how Paul transformed his career thanks to Le Wagon

With a solid academic background and a career in teaching and translation, Paul turned to artificial intelligence (AI) thanks to the skills he acquired at the Data Science & AI bootcamp.
Summary

From philosophy to AI: how Paul transformed his career thanks to Le Wagon

Having graduated from the University of Montréal in 2020 with a PhD in philosophy, Paul first worked as a philosophy and French teacher in the United States. At the same time, he translated academic texts in the history of science. Despite a rewarding career, Paul longed to explore new horizons. He wanted to leave the university world and enter the private sector, particularly in AI ethics. His interest in this field was not new: he had already contributed to the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence. Learning the technical basics of AI seemed the next logical step.

 

The choice of Le Wagon was simple and logical

Paul’s choice to join Le Wagon was a natural one. “There are many data science bootcamps out there. I chose Le Wagon because it offered in-person classes and several opportunities for networking and career advancement afterwards,” he explains. Convinced that this bootcamp would enable him to accelerate his learning and quickly master the fundamentals needed to progress in this field, he took the plunge.

Paul had high expectations of this intensive program and was not disappointed. 

“I expected to learn the science of statistics, programming and other tools needed to create AI applications. By the end of the program, I felt I had not only achieved that goal, but also had fun along the way. Working with other students and talking with my teachers was always a pleasure.” 

The practical aspect of the bootcamp contrasted sharply with his more abstract studies in philosophy, making the experience all the more rewarding.

Attending the bootcamp part-time while working full-time as a translator for Telus was no mean feat, however. “Working full-time while studying can be exhausting. Fortunately, I enjoyed my classes, so this experience was less stressful than I had imagined.” This determination and ability to juggle his responsibilities have enabled him to make the most of his time at Le Wagon.

 

Right from the start of the bootcamp

Even before completing the bootcamp, Paul offered to develop several AI solutions for his current employer. 

“When I started the bootcamp, my goal was to work in the field of AI ethics. However, before I finished the bootcamp, I offered to develop several AI solutions for my current employer. They gave me this opportunity, and my solutions succeeded, enabling the company to increase its revenues for certain services significantly.”

To position himself for this new position, Paul adopted a proactive strategy. He took the initiative to contact everyone in the company who might be interested in these AI solutions.

“Everyone was discovering ChatGPT at the time, which really helped to generate interest. For several weeks, I had to contact an average of eight people a day. In the end, I found the right contacts who understood my objective and trusted me,” he continues.

 

From philosopher and translator to AI innovator

Today, Paul works to develop AI applications for his company. “Despite my initial intentions, I ended up building AI applications instead of determining their ethical implications. This was a big change for me, who was used to working with words rather than math and code on a daily basis.” 

However, his communication skills proved invaluable in convincing the right people to support his projects. His current assignments revolve around building AI solutions at the scale of a large enterprise while continuing to think about the philosophical, political and legal implications of AI.

The skills acquired at Le Wagon, both technical and methodological, are indispensable to him daily.

 “I think I’ve used all the skills I acquired at the Wagon. However, leveraging NLP and ML Ops has proven to be the most important in my current role.

I would recommend the Wagon to someone looking to combine AI with an existing skill set. If you have domain-specific knowledge, there are many opportunities to leverage AI that others haven’t been able to grasp.” confirms Paul.

 

Want to take Paul’s advice? Sign up for a hands-on workshop organized by the Le Wagon team, or take one of our free online courses to learn more about data.

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