Statistics show only an estimated 22% of Artificial Intelligence professionals globally are female and only 20% of all computer programmers are female. Find this revelation shocking? Well so do I.
Hi, my name is Malaika and I find the world of technology and computer science absolutely riveting. My fascination with technology was not only the driving factor to overcome the challenges I faced, but it also helped keep up the inquisitive and explorative attitude that invigorated my fascination in the field of AI but as a woman, I was shocked to find that in the AI-driven automated world that we are moving towards, the computer science field is still mostly dominated by men.
I have always wanted to be part of the technology industry and this contrast has only motivated me further to pursue my interests. My interest and love for computer science began at a very young age. My earliest childhood memories are of being surrounded by technology and since then I’ve tried to gain knowledge in all the various fields that computer science has to offer. I’ve experimented with graphic design, explored the world of web and app development and spent hours learning the basics of different programming languages. However, one field that captivated my interest and curiosity immensely was the world of Artificial Intelligence. I was introduced to AI while using a virtual assistant on my parent’s phone and this interaction ignited a ceaseless curiosity to learn more about AI.
Along with research done on my own time I was given the opportunity to be part of the Inspirit AI Scholars program which expanded my knowledge on the field of AI. My instructors in the program were Raunak Bhattacharyya and Sharon Newman and they introduced us to subjects such as natural language processing and neural networks as well as solving real-life problems using AI. I learned how AI impacts almost every industry in the world and we have the power to use it for good. For example, our instructors showed us how AI is used in medical diagnostics as it helps spot signs of certain diseases in medical scans and makes accurate predictions about patients’ future health.
My teamates and I also worked on a project and our project aimed to classify tweets relating to various natural disasters into categories depending on what type of aid was required. I loved being a part of this program and I felt more alive and engaged than I ever had before learning more about AI.
In this three-part blog series I would like to include the impact AI has in different industries, such as automobile, education, finance and healthcare and then further discuss the issue of privacy and security as this will help introduce and bring awareness to teenagers and young adults on the basic concepts of AI and its importance.
By being exposed to cutting edge technologies and creative coding in AI, as a woman, I would love to bridge the gender gap and be part of the leading team of women in this exciting field. We all have conscious and unconscious biases when talking about women in technology and I would like to use this blog to discuss the issue of ethics in the field of artificial intelligence, including gender and racial biases as I believe Artificial Intelligence has the potential to not only overcome but also eradicate biases.
Original post: https://medium.com/carre4/women-and-ai-a8389ec6334c