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As the world reflects on the people who made the year, the name of a computer engineer working in the field of ethical artificial intelligence (AI) kept cropping up: Timnit Gebru deserved credit from ELLE in “ELLE 100: Women Changing the World” and time Magazine featured her in The 100 Most Influential People of 2022.
Gebru, a black woman who founded the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR) and serves as its executive director, focuses on the ethical implications of AI and algorithmic bias.
A year ago, Gebru launched DAIR, which aims to educate people about diversity in the technology industry. She has focused on the limitations of AI and discriminatory product design.
Gebru is also co-founder of Black in AI, which aims to increase the presence and inclusion of Black people working in the AI space through mentoring, advocacy, sharing ideas and fostering collaborations. She earned a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and previously worked as a team lead for AI ethicists at Google.
Women & the artificial intelligence sector
Women are significantly more concerned about the use of AI, according to 2022 findings from the Pew Research Center. For example, while only 27% of men say they would be somewhat or very concerned if artificial intelligence programs could diagnose medical problems, 43% of women surveyed say the same. Likewise, 69% of men say they would be somewhat or very concerned if artificial intelligence programs could make important life decisions for humans, compared to 80% of women.
Women like Gebru could help change AI perception and trajectory.
According to the National Science Foundation’s The State of US Science and Engineering 2022 report, 26% of computer and math scientists were women in 2019. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information science jobs are growing faster than the average for other occupations. Employment is expected to grow by 21% from 2021 to 2031.
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