7 women leaders in Al, machine learning, and robotics

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The age of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics has arrived, and these technologies will continue to alter our lives in the future. However, the people who work in these industries do not reflect the society that they are destined to alter. According to LinkedIn’s data and thus the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, women make up only 22% of AI experts worldwide. Only 12% of women work in the highly specialized field of machine learning, according to a survey conducted by Wired in collaboration with Montreal firm Element AI. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are still mostly dominated by men. But what would a civilization constructed and led by women look like if it was artificially intelligent? From making AI more human to automating the event industry to reinventing the future of work, there’s a lot to think about.

1. Rana el Kaliouby: Developing Emotionally Intelligent Artificial Intelligence

She’s the co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, a software firm that uses artificial intelligence to identify emotions in people’s faces and voices.

She moderated a panel discussion about Affectiva’s emotion AI technology, which uses computer vision, deep learning, machine learning, and voice processing to recognize emotions from massive volumes of facial data.

2. Fei-Fei Li: Human-Centered AI Development

Li is one of AI’s most bright thinkers. She is currently a professor in the computer department at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute (HAI), which is dedicated to improving AI research and development for the benefit of humanity. Li also spent a brief spell as Google Cloud’s chief scientist of AI and machine learning.

3. Cynthia Breazeal: Bringing Sociality to Robots

Breazeal is a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT who developed and leads the MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots division. Breazeal was a pioneer in the field of human-robot interaction, working on the now-defunct Jibo, a social robot for the home that used advanced facial and voice recognition, as well as tongue understanding, to engage with and form connections with its human family. She then co-founded and served as chief scientist of a social robotics firm with the same name.

4. Tessa Lau, The Robot Whisperer, is number four on the list.

Lau is the founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, a company that develops robot-assisted construction tools to improve efficiency and safety in the construction sector. She was previously the co-founder, chief technology officer, and chief robot whisperer of Savioke, a company that makes robots for the healthcare, hospitality, and logistics industries.

5. Timnit Gebru is the moral AI movement’s leader.

Gebru works as an inquiry scientist for Google’s Ethical AI team, where he is at the forefront of finding solutions to AI’s moral concerns. She got her Ph.D. from the Stanford AI Laboratory after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Microsoft Research’s FATE (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics) in AI group, where she focused on computer vision under Fei-Fei Li’s supervision. She also worked at Apple, where she designed circuits and algorithms for the company’s products.

6. Devi Parikh Improving Visually Impaired People’s Lives Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Parikh works as a professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing and as an inquiry scientist at Facebook AI Research. She acquired her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and has won numerous accolades throughout her career, including four Google Faculty Research Awards, an Amazon Academic Research Award, and the International Joint Conferences on AI’s 2017 Computers and Thought Award.

7. Daphne Koller: Using Machine Learning to Transform Healthcare

Koller is the founder and CEO of Insitro, a firm that uses machine learning to speed up drug discovery and development while also making the process more cost-effective and efficient. Koller was a professor at Stanford University’s computer department for almost 18 years before joining Insitro, and then worked as a chief computing officer at Alphabet’s Calico Labs, a biotech research and development firm. She was also the president and co-founder of Coursera, an online learning platform.

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