The Artificial Intelligence evolution has begun, with AI being used to aid businesses all over the world.
So, where are the women in AI?
As women in tech, we need to start learning more about machine learning, and all things artificial intelligence. Not sure where to start? There’s an organization built especially to help you with your journey as an AI innovator. It’s called Women in AI. Women in AI, or WAI is a nonprofit working towards gender-inclusive AI that benefits global society. Their mission is to increase female representation in AI. Each year, they take in a few lucky candidates to participate in their 12-month mentoring program, which enables them to emerge as confident innovators.
Examples of innovation using AI include ELSA (an English language learning assisant) and Replika. ELSA is one of the most popular AI apps used for learning the English language, while Replika is described as “an AI friend to talk it out with”
For-profit businesses have also seen the value that AI can provide to its users, and consequently, demand for experts in AI has increased exponentially over the past few years. For example, IBM has created Watson, an advanced AI system that uses hypothesis testing to find answers to questions it is asked. This supercomputer is able to absorb problems and find answers to them. As the AI answers more questions, it gets experience and learns from its past interactions.
The capacity of Watson to learn from past experience is what leads it to be increasingly successful in solving everyday business problems. People like IBM’s Lin Ju have shaped the future by creatively solving business problems using Watson’s AI talent.
Every day, Lin leads a team to work closely with the IBM research department and use their insights to build more automated machine learning workflows. Lin Ju leads the team at Watson studio, an agile team that helps businesses and developers simply and efficiently integrates AI into their businesses.
Plenty of women’s initiatives exist within IBM, and Lin has had the opportunity to be immersed in them. She was a Women in Technology (WIT) co-chair in IBM China and she has had the privilege of speaking to many young girls about their careers in technology. She says that working hard is a must, as well as having lots of passion and determination. Lin has said that her PHD in civil engineering helpd her to think logically and thoroughly about problem solving.
If you’re interested in advancing your knowledge of any kind of technology, not just artificial intelligence, you can sign up with nonprofits such as WAI and Girls Who Code that can help with increasing your programming literacy.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that tech degrees and learning about programming isn’t for women. Follow your passion for technology wherever it may take you.