History of Women in Artificial Intelligence(AI)

Women in AI
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Artificial Intelligence seems to be new technology but it’s not new in the market. Artificial Intelligence is much older than you imagine and has a very interesting history as well as remarkable women’s contribution to it.

Table of Contents

  • History of Artificial Intelligence(AI)
  • History of Women in Artificial Intelligence(AI)
  • Jobs Women are Mostly Involved in AI
  • Important Women for the AI Industry
  • Importance of Women in AI
  • Final Thoughts

History of Artificial Intelligence(AI)

History of AI shows how machines get smarter and intelligent with time. But, it is actually how machines are intelligently designed, trained with intelligent human minds.

In the year 1956, the first time the word “Artificial Intelligence” adopted by John McCarthy an American Computer scientist at the Dartmouth Conference.

We have heard about the Chatbot a lot these days. But, do you know about the first chatbot that was developed in the year 1966 by Joseph Weizenbaum, which was named ‘ELIZA’. And the first intelligent human-robot named as ‘WABOT-1’ was built in Japan in the year 1972. These were the golden years for Artificial Intelligence, enthusiasm for AI was very high at that time.

From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, AI was losing faith with the government and corporations, therefore AI scientists faced a shortage in funding for AI research. These years were known as the AI Winter years.

But, a new era for Artificial Intelligence arose in the year 1997 when IBM Deep Blue defeated world chess champion, Gary Kasparov, and became the first computer to beat a world chess champion.

After so many ups and downs, AI came into the business from the year 2006 when big giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon started leveraging Artificial intelligence for their advantages. 

Now, AI is embedded in our day to day lives and has reached a remarkable level. We are using so many products and services like Face Recognization phones, Voice Recognization like Alexa, Chatbots, etc all based on AI.

The future of AI is booming and there is a huge demand for AI technology. This is the golden time and huge prospects for AI aspirants.

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History of Women in Artificial Intelligence(AI)

ENIAC Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer was the first electronic general-purpose digital computer in which ground-breaking programming work is done by a team of six women, who themselves had previously worked as “computers.”

Kathleen McNulty, Frances Bilas, Betty Jean Jennings, Ruth Lichterman, Elizabeth Snyder, and Marlyn Wescoff were the human computers women team behind ENIAC programming.

Picture: Programmers Betty Jean Jennings (left) and Fran Bilas (right) operate ENIAC’s main control panel at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. (U.S. Army photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library)

On 14 February 1946, a public demonstration of ENIAC was done at the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. The plan was to build a computing machine that could calculate bomb trajectories which took shape in the early years of World War II. 

The first task ENIAC did was to add 5,000 numbers together, a task which is completed in 1 second. Secondly, ENIAC could compute a bomb trajectory in less time than a shell would take to fly from gun to target.

Sadly, the contribution of the women programmers who set up the base of computer programming received little acknowledgment. This was partly because earlier programming the machine was associated with human computation, and was therefore considered as clerical women’s work. The lead engineers and physicists were focused on designing and building hardware, which they considered more vital to the future of computing.

Jobs Women are Mostly Involved in AI

There are so many prospects in Artificial Intelligence and women are doing a great job in the field and have proven themselves in various domains of AI.

Various jobs in Artificial Intelligence where women are involved are:

  • Research Scientist

Women working as research scientists in many major universities. It is very demanding work and super technical. Much research is ongoing in various fields of AI which are lead by women.

  • Professor

Generally, researchers like to teach others. They take the most pride in teaching students and get them ready as individual contributors. 

  • Data Scientist

The most promising job of the 20th century is Data Scientist and many women are working as Data Scientists.

  • Machine Learning Engineer

Machine Learning Engineers are computer programmers, who program machines to perform the specific task as humans do. Women are first computer programmers, and they are going very well as Machine Learning Engineers as well.

  • Robotics Engineer

Robotics engineers also come under AI. These are engineers who work to design and create robots and robotics systems. Women are growing rapidly in this area of AI as well.

  • Computer Vision Expert

Computer Vision comes under the deep learning area of AI. Many women professors and scientists contributing to the advancement of Computer Vision.

You can be at one of the above positions. Start upgrading your skills in AI and apply for jobs here.

Important Women for the AI Industry

Artificial Intelligent is currently hot technology, and women across the globe are not lagging in the growing field of AI. We have seen in history, women’s contribution to Artificial Intelligence. Many women in the world are making their mark in the AI industry. They have contributed to different areas of the AI industry and setting up a road map for future aspirants.

Let’s discuss some important women for the AI industry:

Allie K. Miller

Allie K. Miller is the US Head of AI Business Development for Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon, advancing the greatest AI companies in the world.

Allie K. Miller has worked on three most critical areas AI- conversational, Computer Vision, and data. She is an Artificial intelligence business leader and International Speaker.

Allie also became the youngest-ever woman to build an artificial intelligence product at IBM.

She was named as 2019‘s “AI Innovator of the Year” by Forbes and AI Summit and LinkedIn Top Voice for Technology 2019. 

Allie is also the Founder of The AI Pipeline to build stronger diversity in ML, an ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an ambassador for the 10,000-person organization Advancing Women in Product, and has won the Grand Prize in three national innovation competitions.

Fei-Fei-Li

Dr. Fei-Fei Li is the inaugural Sequoia Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute. She served as the Director of Stanford’s AI Lab from 2013 to 2018. And during her sabbatical from Stanford from January 2017 to September 2018, she was Vice President at Google and served as Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud.

Dr. Fei-Fei Li’s current research interests include cognitively inspired AI, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and AI in healthcare especially ambient intelligent systems for healthcare delivery. In the past, she has also worked on cognitive and computational neuroscience. 

Dr. Li is a keynote speaker at many academic or influential conferences, including the World Economic Forum (Davos), the Grace Hopper Conference 2017 and the TED2015 main conference.

Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas is founding director of the USF Center for Applied Data Ethics, which aims to address harms such as disinformation, surveillance, algorithmic bias, and other misuses of data.  

She is a co-founder of fast.ai. Fast.ai provides many online courses on Machine Learning and Deep learning which are taken by lakhs of students till now. This course was focused on students from diverse backgrounds, with small datasets, and with little computational power.

Rachel Thomas was selected as one of 20 Incredible Women in AI by Forbes.

Rachel is a keynote speaker and popular writer, on various topics like data ethics, AI accessibility, and bias in machine learning. She has a huge fan following who loves to read her articles.

Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller is the founder and CEO of insitro.com, Co-founder of Coursera. She was a professor of Computer Science & Pathology at Stanford University.

After co-founding Coursera, the world’s largest online education platform, and she now serves as Chief Computing Officer at Calico Labs, an Alphabet (Google) R&D company studying the biology of aging and developing interventions for longer and healthier lives.

She has been keenly interested in machine learning in the biomedicine domain. Her company insitro.com is working towards the same.

Daphne Koller teaches millions who enrolled for machine learning, and data science courses on Coursera and she loves educating students and take pride in it.

Devi Parikh

Dr. Devi Parikh works as an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, and she’s a research scientist associated with Facebook AI Research (FAIR) and co-founder of Caliper.

One of her interests is to harness the potential of human-AI collaboration and build smarter technology. She also works towards Commonsense reasoning.

Most of her research is in Computer vision especially problems related to visual recognition. She taught both beginning and advanced computer vision courses and an introductory course about computer engineering at Virginia Tech.

Devi Parikh believes in the incredible potential of AI and always tries to highlight it in her work. In 2019, she was added to the GASP Gallery’s list of artists! She creates her generative art in the styles of several artists.

Importance of Women in AI

Women have contributed a lot to the field of computers and AI in the past and present and play a key role in upscaling Ai.

We have seen in the above section, so many women are leading big organizations successfully. They are the motivation for future AI women aspirants. 

Some organization understands the importance of Women in the growth of AI and give equal chance to women. 

According to the World Economic Forum, “Non-homogeneous teams are more capable than homogenous teams of recognizing their biases and solving issues when interpreting data, testing solutions, or making decisions.”

AI spread in various domains like healthcare, sales, management, satellites, autonomous systems, languages, etc. Women’s expertise and knowledge in various fields help in the training of AI systems.

The rise of AI is going to open new doors for women and we need to take advantage of the opportunities. Some women are already doing amazing things in AI companies, now its time for more women AI aspirants to rock.

Final Thoughts

AI is the future and Women are contributing to the growth of this futuristic world. Women’s contributions as human computers and researchers in AI can’t be neglected. It is time to give much importance and recognition to the work done by women in the area of Artificial Intelligence.

Many successful Women AI leaders show us that everything and every level is achievable with faith and hard work.

They give new hope and new job areas for women computer programmers to showcase their capabilities and potential as Artificial Intelligence Engineers.

Come on Women!! Let’s start applying to various AI jobs and make your mark over the world. 

 

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