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Women in AI are making a difference

Give AI-focused To give women academics and others their well-deserved – and overdue – time within the highlight, TechCrunch is launching a series of interviews specializing in notable women who’ve contributed to the AI ​​revolution. As the AI ​​boom continues, we’ll publish several articles all year long highlighting essential work that usually goes unrecognized. You can find more profiles here.

If you, the reader, see a reputation that we missed that ought to be on the list, please email us and we’ll try so as to add it. Here are some essential people you must know:

The gender gap in AI

In a New York Times Piece Late last 12 months, the Gray Lady explained how the present AI boom got here about – and make clear most of the usual suspects like Sam Altman, Elon Musk and Larry Page. The journalism went viral not due to what it reported, but due to what it didn't mention: women.

The Times' list included 12 men – most of them executives at AI or technology firms. Many had no formal or other education or training in AI.

Contrary to the Times' claim, the AI ​​madness didn't start with Musk sitting next to Page in a bayside mansion. It began long before that, when academics, regulators, ethicists, and hobbyists worked tirelessly and in relative obscurity to put the foundations for the AI ​​and GenAI systems we now have today.

Elaine Rich, a retired computer scientist who formerly worked on the University of Texas at Austin, published one in all the primary textbooks on AI in 1983 and have become head of a company AI lab in 1988. Harvard professor Cynthia Dwork caused a stir for many years within the areas of AI fairness, differential privacy and distributed computing. And Cynthia Breazeal, a roboticist and professor at MIT and co-founder of the robotics startup Jibo, worked on developing one in all the earliest “social robots,” Kismet, within the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Despite the numerous ways during which women have advanced AI technology, they represent only a tiny portion of the worldwide AI workforce. According to a 2021 Stanford studyonly 16% of tenure-track faculty focused on AI are women. In a separate study In a study published by the World Economic Forum that very same 12 months, the co-authors found that ladies hold only 26% of analytics and AI positions.

What’s worse is that the gender gap in AI is widening – not shrinking.

Nesta, the UK innovation agency for social good, conducted the study an evaluation from 2019 Das concluded that the proportion of AI scientific papers co-authored by not less than one woman has not improved for the reason that Nineteen Nineties. In 2019, only 13.8% of AI research papers on Arxiv.org, an archive of pre-print academic papers, were authored or co-authored by women, with the number steadily declining over the previous decade.

Reasons for the inequality

The reasons for the inequality are diverse. But a Deloitte survey of girls in AI highlights a few of the more distinguished (and obvious) facets, including the judgment of male colleagues and discrimination for not fitting into the established male-dominated molds of AI.

It starts in college: 78% of girls who took part within the Deloitte survey said they didn't have a probability to get an internship in AI or machine learning while in college. More than half (58%) said they’d left not less than one employer on account of disparate treatment of men and girls, while 73% considered leaving the tech industry entirely on account of unequal pay and the lack to advance of their careers.

The lack of girls is hurting the AI ​​field.

Nesta's evaluation found that ladies are more likely to think about social, ethical and political implications of their work in AI than men – which shouldn’t be surprising provided that women live in a world where they’re divided based on their gender and products The market was designed for men and girls with children. They are sometimes expected to balance their work with their role as primary caregivers.

With any luck, TechCrunch's humble contribution – a series about completed women in AI – will help move the needle in the precise direction. But there may be clearly still loads to do.

The women we profile share many suggestions for many who need to advance and advance the AI ​​field for the higher. But a standard thread runs through: strong support, commitment and role model function. Organizations can create change by adopting policies—whether in hiring, training, or otherwise—that promote women who’re already within the AI ​​industry or need to enter the AI ​​industry. And decision-makers in positions of power can use that power to advocate for more diverse, supportive workplaces for ladies.

Changes won't occur overnight. But every revolution begins with a small step.


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