What Does an AI Product Manager Do?

Updated on May 25th, 2021
What Does an AI Product Manager Do?

Are you wondering what the roles of an AI product manager are in 2021?

An AI product manager is a new kind of job that's emerging in recent years as artificial intelligence and machine learning become more prevalent. 

In this article, we'll look at what an AI product manager does, how they work with data science product managers to create products using artificial intelligence, and why the role has become so popular in recent years. 

What is an AI Product Manager?

The best analogy to describe an AI product manager is a cross between the roles of both data scientist and designer. 

An AI product manager will have not only strong design skills but also be knowledgeable about machine learning, algorithms, and other methods for enhancing businesses with artificial intelligence

In tandem with their knowledge of these cutting-edge techniques, they are able to translate what might otherwise feel technical or abstract into designs that harness those tools in ways anyone can use. 

AI Product Manager: Roles And Responsibilities

AI product managers work as part of a team within organizations that develop new products using Artificial Intelligence by creating prototypes for how machines should interact with people. They often lead projects from start to finish - designing the prototype through research, building a prototype, and then presenting it to the client. As such, they are both creative thinkers and people managers who have excellent communication skills. 

Some of the tasks of an AI product manager are:

1. Work With Executives And Business Line Stakeholders

One of the key responsibilities of an AI product manager is working with executives and business analysts to understand how the company can use machine learning, data mining, or natural language processing to solve its problems. 

Also, an AI product manager may work with analysts and members of the executive team to identify customer needs, create business cases for projects or products.

2. Perform Gap Analysis On Existing Data

A gap analysis is the process of identifying a current gap between business goals and organizational performance. An AI product manager may identify gaps in automation, expertise, or other areas that might be limiting company growth. 

This person will then work to determine how machine learning can address these deficiencies by either developing analytical models from existing data sources or extracting insights from unstructured datasets on behalf of a business or organization.

3. Develop Ai Product Roadmaps And Timelines

An AI product manager's task may include developing a roadmap for new and existing software products and AI applications. This means identifying potential opportunities, evaluating their feasibility in terms of available resources, and determining what timeline is best suited to the product's needs. 

The person will also be involved with creating timelines for implementation projects as well as specific deadlines that must be met by the organization or team members.

4. Identify New Data Sources

The data that an AI product manager might need to work with can come from a variety of sources, including customer transaction history and digital media. It's the job of this manager to identify new data streams or unstructured datasets for analysis in order to create more predictive models and better understand consumer behavior.

5. Do Proper Problem Mapping

With the many different data streams, an AI product manager will need to be able to organize and categorize them in order to identify patterns. With problem mapping, this person is looking for similarities or differences across multiple variables within a dataset that could lead to insights into customer behavior.

6. Work With Data Engineers And Data Scientists

The AI product manager will partner with data engineers and data scientists to put together an actionable plan based on the insights and metrics that they have gathered. This person might also work closely with a project manager in order to ensure that there are necessary procedures for executing these plans, as well.

In addition, artificial intelligence product managers must be comfortable working alongside IT teams before considering any of their own decisions or responses. 

7. Participate In The DS/ML/AI Development Process

The AI product manager will participate in the DS/ML/AI Development process by ensuring that all development desires are being met. 

This includes conducting research, gathering data, and visualizing findings for decision-making purposes. This is where the product manager must be able to evaluate what needs or wants of customers should come first, as well as make sure that changes occurring outside of their department won't have an impact on their decisions.

8. Do Experimentation And Measurement

Product managers must not only evaluate what needs or wants of customers should come first, but also make sure that changes occurring outside of their department won't have an impact on their decisions.  

One way in which this is done is by conducting experiments and measuring the results so as to identify any potential risks and help adjust accordingly before they result in a negative outcome. 

These can include A/B testing, customer surveys, beta tests with external partners, usability studies with internal teams (for non-technical products), etc. By being proactive instead of reactive—and understanding where AI falls into all these considerations—the product manager will be able to determine how best to apply it for maximum benefit and minimal risk.

9. Develop And Manage Training, Validation, And Test Data Sets

The product manager will be responsible for overseeing the process of data ingestion and determining how best to train, validate, or test datasets

This includes identifying any necessary dependencies (e.g., on-premise servers) as well as ensuring that all required documentation is in place so that A/B testing can take place successfully while using a production system. 

AI product managers should also ensure that both their own team members and external partners are trained on what they need to know about the AI model being used by them—and this training should happen before they're actually called upon to use it themselves. 

10. Do Product And Capability Assessment

The product manager must constantly assess the performance of their AI solution

This includes assessing its impact on user experience, identifying areas where it can be improved, and making sure that any new insights gained are acted upon in order to maximize ROI for customers over time. 

For example, a Baidu-based project found that when they upgraded from Python version two (Python v0) to three (Python vx), there was an increase in accuracy by more than 30% - which resulted in an improvement of more than 200%.

11. Process Advanced Statistics 

In order to work in this field, one would need a strong understanding of advanced statistics and other math concepts related to machine learning. It's important for product managers who want to build AI products or design them using algorithms that they are able to understand the statistical significance behind their ideas.

12. Do Customer Feedback Analysis 

Product managers are responsible for making sure that the company is getting feedback from its customers, and analyzing what they're saying to make changes in their products or services. 

What Skills Should An AI Product Manager Have?

 An AI product manager should have a wide variety of skills in order to be effective in the role. These skills are usually gained in high-quality product management certification programs. Some product management skills include: 

1. Decision Analysis

An AI product manager needs to be able to quickly and accurately analyze the right decisions for any given situation. 

2. Mathematical Skills

They need a strong mathematical background so they can understand complex algorithms, data structures, and coding languages - all of which are used in AI projects

3. Strategic Planning

It's essential that an AI product manager have a product strategist mindset because they're responsible not only for developing plans but also for implementing them. This way their long-term product manager goals align with short-term objectives at every stage of development. 

They should always look ahead when making company strategy decisions as well as anticipate future challenges or opportunities related to technology trends.

4. Product Development Expertise

An effective AI product manager has knowledge of what it takes to design, develop and launch a successful product. This includes having the ability to produce tangible products that align with company objectives and meet customer needs.

5. Critical Thinking Skills

An AI product manager needs to have the ability to see multiple perspectives and make decisions in a logical manner. They also need to be able to identify what is missing or flawed, as well as how something can be improved upon. 

6. Data Management/Analysis

An AI product manager needs data management and analysis skills to work with the data for their company. They need to be able to correctly interpret that information, which is key because they're responsible for understanding how well products are performing in order to make changes where necessary.

7. Product Management

AI Product managers have knowledge of what it takes to design, develop, and launch a successful product including planning on its lifecycle. This includes having the ability to produce tangible products that align with company objectives and meet customer needs. 

8. Creativity/Innovation

An AI product manager may not always come up with new ideas or designs themselves but they should be good at recognizing them when someone else does. In addition, these professionals need some creativity on their own as well since there will likely be 

9. Machine Learning Knowledge

An AI product manager should have knowledge of machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence. Machine learning is the process by which computers learn to make predictions and decisions based on access to data 

10. Collaboration Skills

One more skill that an AI product manager may need is collaboration skills. Product managers are often working with many different people from developers, designers, customer service representatives, and marketers just like themselves 

11. Process Management

A key requirement for this position would be strong process management abilities where professionals can oversee tasks and create plans so they're completed efficiently.         

12. Application Development (in particular Python)

One of the most useful skills that a machine learning product manager should know how to code in is Python. This programming language was created specifically for scientific and engineering applications 

13. Designing Excellent Presentations

One thing that many companies are looking for is excellent presentation skills, and this would be a big task on the product manager's plate. This is a skill that applies to startups as well as established companies. 

14. Experience Working On Data Products

Experience working on data-driven products and data science is also critical to this job so that professionals have the knowledge of what it takes to build and maintain these types of products.

15. Ability To Work Independently

One thing many companies look for is someone who can work independently without needing constant supervision or instruction from other team members. 

16. User Interface Design

Some product managers will have to design the user interface for their products, and they'll need a solid understanding of HTML/CSS as well as graphic design skills.

16. Networking

Networking is a skill that many professionals in this field need to have, and it should be one of the top skills on your list. So if you're looking for an AI product manager position, make sure you include these sections.

AI Product Manager Average Salary       

According to Payscale, the average salary for an AI product manager in the U.S. is $150.000. However, the range for this position can be quite wide. 

The salary is not only dependent on the company but also on AI PMs' experience and skillset. 

How To Become An AI Product Manager

The average time to become an AI product manager is about 14 years. It does require a certain amount of experience in the industry, and many people usually start out as software PMs or data scientists

Some of the qualifications to get a product manager job are computer science or other technical degrees, experience in machine learning, and deep expertise in a specific domain. 

Is AI Product Management The Career Path For You?

If you want to work in AI and machine learning, then an AI product manager might be the career for you. Even though AI product management can be quite a technical and tough career, it is also immensely satisfying to know that you are helping shape the future.

Therefore, if you’re interested in AI and machine learning, then you should consider joining a product management bootcamp to gain the basic skills in order to specialize as an AI product manager.