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One of our upcoming speakers at DeepFest 2024 is Erica Lee (VP of ML Engineering at Upwork). Alongside leading AI teams for large corporations, Lee is the founder of WomenOfAI – a global nonprofit on a mission to create more women leaders in the AI sector.
According to the World Economic Forum, only around 30% of workers in AI in 2022 were women. That’s up from 26% in 2020; but in a sector that has such huge potential to change the way we live our lives, it’s crucial that the workforce is diverse – in gender, race, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Lee has previously been an AI Manager at Apple, AI Director at Grabango, and the Founder/CTO of a Machine Vision startup; and she studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Johns Hopkins. Which means she has experienced firsthand the lack of women’s presence in decision-making positions in this industry; and WomenOfAI is working to change that.
What does WomenOfAI do?
With 6000+ members in more than 10 countries, the organisation is partnered with global leaders in the industry – including Google, NVIDIA, MIT, and more.
The work includes helping women...
- Gain AI skills – and teach AI skills
- Get jobs in AI
- Build products, tools, and services using AI
- Implement AI tools in their creative roles – including design, content creation, and marketing
- Connect with events and speaking opportunities in AI
- Become leaders in the AI industry
Women working in AI are already having an impact
We’re not going to give you a list of reasons why we need more women in this sector – because we know you know.
Instead, we want to highlight just a few of the women who are already having a positive impact and taking up leadership roles to help shape the future of this world-changing technology.
- Fei-Fei Li. A computer science professor at Stanford University and the co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Li helped create the ImageNet database – which has been used to train many deep learning models, and enabled significant technological advances.
- Joy Buolamwini. She founded the Algorithmic Justice League – an organisation that works to fight bias in AI. She’s particularly well known for her studies on facial recognition technology, and for uncovering racial and gender bias in some facial recognition tech.
- Cynthia Breazeal. A roboticist and professor at MIT, she’s undertaken innovative work on social robots – including Kismet in the 1990s, a robot that can recognise and simulate human emotions.
- Hilary Mason. A data scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Fast Forward Labs: a research company that focuses on emerging technologies, including AI. The research group has helped to enable significant developments in AI, producing reports and prototypes that demonstrate the capabilities of novel machine learning techniques. (Fast Forward Labs was acquired by Cloudera in 2017).
Moving in the right direction
It’s happening slowly, but the AI sector is becoming more diverse. At DeepFest 2024 we’ll highlight some of the key thought leaders in this space – including Zoe Reich (DeepTech Fund Director at Octopus Ventures, Ivana Bartoletti (Global Chief Privacy Officer at Wipro), Angela Kane (Vice President at the International Institute for Peace, Vienna) and more.
We can’t wait to see you there. Register now to attend.