We have had the pleasure to talk with one of our newest coworkers, Marcus Olivecrona, about his background, how he started programming and his job at Tenfifty.
When and how did you first learn about Artificial Intelligence?
Difficult question! Like most, I first encountered AI at an early age, even though I might not have called it by that name at the time. The first time I actually studied AI was during my graduate program at AstraZeneca.
Which educational path did you choose?
Already as a small boy I was interested in science and thought about how planes could fly and so on. I studied natural sciences in high school and even though mathematics and philosophy stood in high regard, it was chemistry that fascinated me the most and so I continued studying chemistry for my Bachelor’s and Master’s at the University of Oxford.
Tell us a bit more about Oxford…
Oxford life was cool. It is a very beautiful city. The education is often taking place very close to the professors, in addition to having lectures with many students, you have smaller groups where you have the opportunity to interact with a professor. So you get a lot of time with people who are experts at their subject. I did my Master’s thesis on synthetic organic chemistry, where I synthesized and studied small molecules for their ability to stabilize stem cell growth.
When did you start programming?
Through a graduate program at AstraZeneca I got the opportunity to do research in different areas in order to broaden my knowledge. It was during my second placement that I first got in contact with programming and machine learning. I was analyzing how molecules are metabolized as they go through the body. In this area there exists a large amount of data, the search space of potential molecules is incredibly big, and running the actual tests can be expensive, making it a perfect candidate for using machine learning as decision support. During this placement I realized that programming and machine learning just clicked for me.
Why do you work at Tenfifty?
A friend advised me about Tenfifty after attending a local deep learning meetup they hosted. I did some research and it seemed like the perfect fit for me, where I could work as a programmer to create tailored AI solutions within several different industries. I contacted the management, went through some interviews and code tests and here I am. My work tasks are varied and fun and I get to work with a lot of knowledgeable people within AI and programming.
What are the challenges?
We work with quite a few tricky problems, which is great fun but also very demanding. There are no ready-made solutions and a lot of different techniques and knowledge areas to master. Therefore, one has to understand the problem in the first place and then be very familiar with it as well as versed in the techniques in order to be able to choose the right approach.
At Tenfifty we are always looking for Artificial Intelligence geeks that can complement our fantastic team. Take a look at our Career Pages to see current vacancies.