Which programming language should I pick up to make a career in artificial intelligence?

Which programming language should I pick up to make a career in artificial intelligence?

Has the world of artificial intelligence got your attention? With the recent onset of some beautiful examples of AI like Siri, you know that it is possible to create such software and systems. However, depending on what the goal is, you will need a different set of knowledge to achieve it. Certain systems of AI require a higher level of AI knowledge like decision trees, logistic regression, continuous numeric prediction, etc. Other projects can be accomplished with the knowledge of programming language. Now if you’re wondering which language would be appropriate, here’s a rundown of the best options.


Python is one of the widely used programming languages in the field of Artificial Intelligence thanks to its clean grammar and syntax, fluency, and nice design. The modular programming and language interoperability can seamlessly be used with the data structures and other frequently used AI algorithms. Some of the features that make Python popular for artificial intelligence programming are:

  • A bunch of testing frameworks
  • Documentation generation
  • Correct data structures
  • The balance of high-level and low-level programming


Java is another great programming language to master. It is a good choice because it offers an easy way to code algorithms and algorithms are an integral part of artificial intelligence. For example search algorithms, natural language processing algorithms and neural networks. Java provides high-level features needed to work on AI projects.

Java allows scalability which is an important feature for AI. Other than that debugging ease, a good user interaction, easy work with big projects, facilitated visualisation, incorporation of Swing and SWT are some of its other prominent features. The Java community is also a plus point as there will be someone to help you with your queries and problems.


Lisp is the first computer language used for artificial intelligence. Lisp simplifies complex programs and makes it easy to write them. It is extendable and flexible. It also boasts of features such as fast prototyping and macro utility that are useful in creating artificial intelligence systems.

Some of the features that make Lisp a popular programming language are:

  • Condition system
  • Powerful object system
  • Dynamic typing

The Lisp language is mostly used in the Machine Learning and is used in major AI projects, such as Macsyma, DART, and CYC. It’s excellent prototyping capabilities and its support for symbolic expressions is what makes Lisp a good choice for AI.


When it comes to usefulness and usability, Prolog stands along with Lisp. Prolog is one of the programming languages for basic mechanisms that can provide flexible frameworks for artificial intelligence programming. Prolog is extensively used when programming expert systems for AI. For example, it offers pattern matching, automatic backtracking, and tree-based data structuring mechanisms.

It is an interactive symbolic language that is widely used for non-numerical programming. Apart from Artificial intelligence, in general, some of these include:

  • Natural language processing
  • Expert systems
  • Theorem proving


Known as the fastest programming language in the world, C++ is extremely useful for AI projects that are time-sensitive. Its ability to talk at the hardware level enables developers to improve their program execution time. One of the programs that use C++ extensively is search engines. Games in artificial intelligence are mostly coded in this language for faster execution and response time. Other than that, it used for statistical AI techniques like the ones found in neural networks. Algorithms can also be written extensively in the C++ for speed execution

The selection of a programming language for your AI project depends on the sub-field. Before making a selection it is important to ensure that the language will be utilised extensively and not partially. From all the above-mentioned languages, Python seems to be crawling its way to the top as it is viable to use for most of the AI sub-fields.