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The Invaluable Role Women Play in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is yet in its infancy. Many organizations are looking for talented AI professionals to become more efficient. In the midst of all this lies the intrinsic role that women can play in AI. By motivating women to take up roles in AI, biases can be mitigated through their diverse outlooks and thought processes.

By Matthew McMullen Published about a month ago 3 min read

The popularity of Artificial intelligence (AI) over the years has piqued the interest of many, especially businesses. It is being sought after by businesses as it has the potential to transform business operations, enhance efficiency and assist them in fulfilling their business objectives.

However, the demand for AI is yet to match with supply. As of date, there is an immense lack of talented AI professionals in the market. This is the primary motive for them to ramp up their AI hiring. This gap has been further emphasized in the Market Research Future Report.

As per the report, the global AI recruitment market is forecasted to reach $942.3 million by 2030, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 6.9% from 2020 to 2030.

Role of Women in AI

Women have always played a pioneering role in shaping AI. They were the frontrunners in the AI revolution which began years ago. Women played an intrinsic role in AI as academics, regulators, ethicists and hobbyists.

Some of the prominent women in the AI revolution are;

1. Elaine Rich: She was a retired computer scientist from the University of Texas, Austin. She wrote the first textbook on AI in 1983 and five years later started a corporate AI lab.

2. Cynthia Dwork: She was a professor at Harvard and pioneered the field of AI with fairness, differential privacy and distributed computing.

3. Cynthia Breazeal: She was a roboticist and MIT professor. She co-founded Jibo, a robotics start-up and discovered Kismet, a social robot in the latter part of 1990s and early 2000s.

Gender Diversity in Leadership Positions

AI beckons a diverse group of professionals to ensure a wider perspective for mitigating biases and enhancing the technology’s ethical standards. Women play a critical role in AI as they foster innovation, mitigate biases and build a more equitable and inclusive future.

Diversity in AI is essential as it recognises and promotes the role of women in AI. There is evidence to indicate that gender diversity especially in leadership positions results in increased productivity, profitability and market value for organizations across industries.

As per a survey by Deloitte regarding men and women working in AI, it is further demonstrated that the increasing number of women within a business is beneficial for businesses. AI and ML solutions will result in:-

• Enhanced design and functionality of AI systems.

• Unique perspectives to high tech requirements in the industry.

• Diversity in designer and developer positions.

• Produce bias-free results.

Varied perspectives and experiences like gender difference, race, socio-economic background, work experience, age, ability, privilege and experience with discrimination is critical for the development of a strong AI. It helps in becoming well-equipped to challenge assumptions, identify issues, extract unconscious biases and spotting blind spots within the AI system which will further assist in ensuring a positive impact on a vast majority of populations.

Why more talented women do not enter AI?

There are several reasons for talented women not entering the AI space.

#1. False stereotypes: The typical notion that girls are not as capable as men when it comes to science and maths is one of the key reasons for girls not pursuing STEM related fields.

#2. Lack of resources: Most women receive only limited resources to educate themselves regarding various career paths in AI. This makes AI an ambiguous and difficult space for them to enter.

#3. Biases in the recruitment process: This is a key barrier that prevents women from entering AI. Apart from this, lack of diversity, gendered job titles, etc. are also important factors.

#4. Lack of education and clarity regarding roles in AI: This has prevented many women from entering this field.

The entry of more number of women in AI can result in better outcomes for the companies they work for and the populations their AI system impacts. Most businesses are unable to attract women into AI. Not just this, they drive them away through unequal treatment and offering them lower compensation than their male counterparts.

A majority of women are subjected to unending resistance, questions, and judgements which their male colleagues do not experience. All this results in high attrition rates of women in AI.

Businesses can take many steps to address this gender gap to make the AI space more equitable for women. They can:

1. Create and showcase archetypes of women in AI

2. Offer education to women on AI.

3. Build mentorship programs for future women leaders in AI.

4. Build a diverse and inclusive culture at all levels.

Summarizing, one can safely say that AI is still a budding industry and only a few people have expertise in it. There are several organizations along with their workforce who are just starting their AI journey. Organizations can still opt to bridge the gender gap in AI by bringing in more number of women into their AI teams. This will not only ensure gender equality, but also add value to their business and customers.

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About the Creator

Matthew McMullen

11+ Years Experience in machine learning and AI for collecting and providing the training data sets required for ML and AI development with quality testing and accuracy. Equipped with additional qualification in machine learning.

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