Cynthia L Elliott On Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The AI Industry

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Become a futurist — AI is going to evolve at a breathtaking pace. To succeed in an AI career, you must develop your intuition about how different technologies will evolve, can be leveraged, and can go wrong. Unlike ego, intuition whispers. Pay attention to subtle thoughts and energy. Follow breaking industry news and let the developments expand in your mind. Excellent leadership and significant breakthroughs are made using your creative thinking and unique life experiences. So, develop those skills to play with the potential.

Artificial Intelligence is now the leading edge of technology, driving unprecedented advancements across sectors. The AI industry is witnessing a skyrocketing demand for professionals from healthcare to finance and education to the environment. However, the path to creating a successful career in AI is multifaceted and constantly evolving. What does it take, and what does one need to create a highly successful career in AI?

In this interview series, we are talking to successful AI professionals, AI founders, AI CEOs, educators in the field, AI researchers, HR managers in tech companies, and anyone who holds authority in the realm of Artificial Intelligence to inspire and guide those who are eager to embark on this exciting career path.

As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia L. Elliott, the Shaman Isis.

Cynthia L. Elliott, known by her spiritual avatar and pen name, Shaman Isis, is an author, mystic, marketing pioneer, AI provocateur, and media personality specializing in emotional mastery. Her words and work have altered the cultural landscape, creating influencer marketing and brand communications industries. Cynthia has authored two books, Unleash the Empress and her highly-anticipated new work, Memory Mansion — the wild and inspiring true story of her self-love journey. She is an entrepreneur and hosts the popular podcast The Shaman Isis Show.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before diving in, our readers would like to learn about your origin story. Can you share a bit about your childhood and how you grew up?

My early years were filled with unusual challenges that allowed me to grow in ways few are blessed to do as children. I spent my formative years in foster care and an orphanage. Those experiences taught me about duality, hierarchies, and the complexity of humanity. It also taught me to lead with love, believe in myself, and listen to my intuition. I share that journey to self-love in my new book, Memory Mansion: How to Glow the Fu%k Up.

Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue a career path in AI?

I am in love with AI’s potential to bring abundance to humanity. The technology has fascinated me for years. I remember calling IBM’s Watson team about ten ago for a campaign I had conceived called Just Ask Watson. As a communication pioneer and lover of AI, I wanted to start two companies that utilize AI. One is a publishing and production company, Gothic House Media, and the other is a product and lifestyle brand, SoulTech. I am in with both feet and loving it.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

I am very excited about my new memoir that reads like an adventure story, Memory Mansion: How To Glow The Fu%k Up, on preorder at I spent years on the run and struggling with self-love and depression. The book explains why I ran and shares how I went from orphan to marketing pioneer to mystic. I am also thrilled to launch a new podcast season for the Shaman Isis Show. The podcast covers the nexus of politics, culture, tech, and spirituality, any new topic impacting humanity’s future.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I spent years hustling in NYC before a fashion industry icon, Fern Mallis, offered me a reference for an interview I had with a fashion PR agency. That reference helped shift the course of my life. I have called her my fashion fairy godmother for years. She is the industry’s fairy godmother.

As with any career path, the AI industry comes with its own set of challenges. Could you elaborate on some of the significant challenges you faced in your AI career and how you overcame them?

I have been blazing a trail for so long that I know what pain to avoid. People hung up in hierarchies are very stuck on people having specific credentials. That is funny because some of the most admired men don’t have a degree. The rules are often enforced on outsiders, especially women and minorities. I learned a long time ago to make things happen on my own. If I had a penny for every time I was told something was impossible. So, I do the “I’m possible” as a rule.

Okay, let’s move to the main part of our interview about AI. What three things excite you most about the AI industry now? Why?

AI will transform the healthcare industry for the better. We will see dramatic shifts in advanced in-home healthcare, accurate diagnosis, more effective treatment, and better wellness technology. We will have a better understanding of herbal versus pharmaceutical medicines. This will help billions of people live better. It is a beautiful time to be alive.

AI will also bring a much-needed level of abundance to the world. This will significantly benefit the average person. We cannot allow the power of AI to rest with a few, a disease that is eating capitalism alive; we must ensure fairness through intelligent regulation.

Finally, the future of creativity through AI is breathtaking to imagine. Just look at what can already be done. We are only limited by our imagination, which is endless. I love using AI to create art, such as visuals and videos. AI and elevated levels of human consciousness are at the heart of the current Age of Aquarius, a time of great abundance and a renaissance for humanity.

What are the three things that concern you about the AI industry? Why? What should be done to address and alleviate those concerns?

I am incredibly concerned that the power of AI will rest in a few hands. We already have a significant issue with a handful of companies controlling most large American brands. We need to establish regulations and an independent organization that ensures fairness in the industry.

The possibility of monopolies controlling the most powerful forms of AI is a significant issue. Look at what happened in the tech sector. I am a fan of Google as a brand. I am not a fan of how they are allowed to control information delivery to most of humanity. Something they manipulate to serve an agenda. The fact that more people aren’t even aware of how manipulated information is highlights the reason for my concerns.

We need a universal income and a national plan for retraining people. AI will displace countless jobs. We need to create US programs to teach new skills. We also need to move toward a universal income. We proved with the closures that we can take care of people. Corporations are making ungodly profits; make them pay for it all.

For a young person who would like to eventually make a career in AI, which skills and subjects do they need to learn?

Emotional mastery is vital for everyone. It alleviates unhealthy thought patterns and teaches perception selection. This is fundamental in ensuring mental wellness. That is the most important skill for humans regardless of field.

Proficiency in programming languages is essential. You’ll need to write code to build and train machine learning models, develop AI algorithms, and work with AI frameworks and libraries.

Understanding the fundamentals of machine learning and deep learning is central to AI work. Learn about various machine learning algorithms, neural networks, and techniques for model training, optimization, and evaluation.

Data is the lifeblood of AI. It would help if you were skilled in data acquisition, cleaning, and preprocessing and could handle large datasets efficiently.

As you know, few women are in the AI industry. What is needed to engage more women in the AI industry?

Encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects from an early age. Support programs that expose young girls to coding and robotics. Highlight and celebrate the achievements of female AI professionals and researchers. Showcase their work and stories to inspire young women to follow in their footsteps. Support organizations and initiatives that promote STEM education and AI awareness among girls and young women. These could include coding camps, robotics clubs, and mentorship programs.

Establish mentorship programs where experienced female AI professionals can guide and support aspiring women. Organize networking events, conferences, and workshops to connect women in AI. These events provide opportunities for learning, collaboration, and career advancement.

Encourage organizations to prioritize diversity in their hiring processes and actively seek out female candidates for AI roles. That will prevent the issues that still run through the tech and engineering worlds. Ensure that women in AI receive equal pay and benefits for equal work. Address pay gaps and disparities in promotions and leadership positions. Implement flexible work policies that accommodate the needs of women, especially those who may have caregiving responsibilities. Promote an inclusive and supportive workplace culture that values diversity and fosters an environment where women can thrive.

I also suggest providing scholarships, grants, and financial support to women pursuing AI-related degrees, certifications, and businesses.

Ethical AI development is a pressing concern in the industry. How do you approach the ethical implications of AI, and what steps do you believe individuals and organizations should take to ensure responsible and fair AI practices?

AI can inherit biases in training data, leading to discriminatory outcomes, particularly against marginalized groups. I suggest prioritizing diverse and representative training data, developing bias-detection tools, and implementing fairness-aware algorithms. Establish clear guidelines and regulations for addressing bias in AI.

Many AI algorithms, such as deep learning models, can be opaque and difficult to explain, making it challenging to understand their decision-making processes. We can address this by promoting interpretable AI models, requiring AI systems to explain their decisions, and encouraging transparency in AI development processes.

AI often requires access to sensitive personal data, raising concerns about data privacy and the potential for misuse. We can deal with this by Implementing strong data protection measures, adopting privacy-preserving techniques like differential privacy, and adhering to relevant data privacy laws.

AI systems can be vulnerable to attacks and pose safety risks in critical applications such as autonomous vehicles and healthcare. We can address this by prioritizing security measures, conducting thorough risk assessments, and implementing safeguards to protect AI systems from malicious manipulation.

Okay, here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share the “Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The AI Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

Achieving an AI career requires combining technical skills, soft skills, and a commitment to continuous learning. Here are some traits and talents you can develop to help you excel in this or almost any field:

Become a futurist — AI is going to evolve at a breathtaking pace. To succeed in an AI career, you must develop your intuition about how different technologies will evolve, can be leveraged, and can go wrong. Unlike ego, intuition whispers. Pay attention to subtle thoughts and energy. Follow breaking industry news and let the developments expand in your mind. Excellent leadership and significant breakthroughs are made using your creative thinking and unique life experiences. So, develop those skills to play with the potential.

Strong problem-solving skills — AI often involves tackling complex problems, so breaking them down into manageable parts and devising solutions is crucial. Problem-solving skills are magical. The most groundbreaking work I did in my career began as a solution to an unusual problem, usually one that boxed the team in.

Mathematics and programming — A solid foundation in mathematics is essential for understanding the algorithms and models used in AI. Also, proficiency in programming languages commonly used in AI is a must. However, there are many ways to work in AI. So, if those skills are not your most vital, develop the others on this list and stay on top of AI trends and changes. You can always work in AI marketing, sales, etc. Don’t let the industry’s myopic focus on math and programming prevent you from being an AI leader or entrepreneur.

Machine learning/ deep learning — Familiarize yourself with various machine-learning techniques and deep-learning architectures. Understand how to implement and fine-tune models for different tasks. Understanding how information is utilized for results is an incredible skill that transfers to other fields and life. Data is the foundation of AI, so learn how to collect, clean, preprocess, and analyze data effectively.

Critical thinking — AI often involves making decisions based on data and models. Developing critical thinking skills will help you assess your AI systems’ validity and potential biases. I learned to foresee how information could be misunderstood, wrong, biased, or create problems. It looks like a magic trick when you practice, an excellent skill for a career in AI.

Other ways to thrive in AI include: Developing your communication skills. They are vital in explaining complex AI concepts to non-technical stakeholders. Effective communication will help you convey the value of AI solutions and collaborate with diverse teams. Be adaptable. AI technologies and tools change rapidly. Stay adaptable and open to learning new techniques and tools throughout your career. Build a professional network in the AI community. This can lead to collaborations, job opportunities, and exposure to cutting-edge research. Learn resilience. AI projects can be challenging, and setbacks are common. Developing resilience will help you persevere through difficulties and learn from failures.

Continuous learning and upskilling are vital in a dynamic field like AI. How do you approach ongoing education and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the AI industry? What advice do you have for those looking to grow their careers in AI?

Networking and staying on top of research and advancements are two of the most important ways to build a thriving career in AI. Networking will expand your reputation and opportunities, and being informed will drive your intuition and ability to foresee the future.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to your life?

“Never dim your light to make others feel more comfortable living in the shadows,” — Shaman Isis.

For many years, I played the game of trying to fit in. I was deeply ingrained in the 3D, the matrix as it is known. My main concern was making others feel comfortable. That usually meant dimming my light. The lesson I learned the hard way was to show up as big and bright as possible. It isn’t your job to make others feel better about living small. If your light frustrates their demons, you may be the trigger they need to wake up to how powerful they are.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Thank you, I started a movement to raise consciousness in 2021. Since then, my work, books, content, and business endeavors have aimed to raise human consciousness. When people know how to choose happiness and select how they wish to perceive life, they and everyone benefit.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can learn about my new book, Memory Mansion, listen to my podcast, and find links to my social media on

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Cynthia L Elliott On Five Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The AI Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.