I'm a CS undergrad who wants to eventually do research in machine learning. My university has plenty of machine learning labs, but they are quite competitive. At the moment, I have a few opportunities to get started in research. One is a project in the electrical engineering department that involves optimization algorithms for Cyber Physical Systems. One is a bio lab looking for someone to work on software for analyzing signals of particular types of fish. Another is working on scientific computing for a physics lab.
I would not be opposed to getting my first shot at research in any of these places, but would getting too involved outside the CS department actually hurt my chances of getting a chance to research in Machine Learning later? Or would having some type of research experience raise my chances for these competitive labs?