Women in AI: Underrepresented, but there is hope

Women in AI: Underrepresented, but there is hope

A study of the AI Now Institute last year has estimated that women make up only a quarter of the computer science workforce to date. The under-representation of women leads to one of the biggest challenges in applied AI today: Bias in AI models and algorithms.

Algorithms will make decisions that have significant ramifications for individuals’ lives, in a growing range of domains from recruitment to credit. If bias is not recognised and removed from AI systems, individuals will suffer economic loss, loss of opportunity, and social stigmatisation.

(The State of AI 2019)

Where are the women in AI?

Machine learning teams are now building algorithms that will transform various aspects of our lives, from AI-powered virtual assistants to self-driving cars. How can research teams ensure diversity if they don’t resemble the society they are about to reshape with their inventions? If Artificial Intelligence systems should benefit all societal groups, research teams have to be heterogeneous. “Diverse teams are more likely to flag problems that could have negative social consequences before a product has been launched”, says Anima Anandkumar, a professor at the California Institute of Technology. Studies have shown that diversity increases productivity and creativity. Additionally, companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.

There are several initiatives that address the gender imbalance such as the Women in AI (WAI) community, Women in AI Breakfast, and Women in AI Awards. We would like to add to this point and bring more women into the AI conversation. What is their motivation? Which challenges do women face? This article is dedicated to bringing more women in AI to the spotlight. We have asked our female colleagues and customers to tell us why they work in AI.

What women love about working in AI.

One of our preliminary goals is to make AI accessible for all genders. This vision is also shared by our customers. We asked our Quality Assurance Tester Ashni, what she believes to be important when it comes to developing AI software that benefits everyone: “An industry that can develop is one that realises who their customers are. And in any industry, half of the customers are women. The IT industry realises this very well, hence the stereotype about the IT industry which is dominated by men must be removed. In fact, when I got into the industry, the stereotype wasn’t proven at all. The people in the IT Industry have various backgrounds, gender, age, nationality, etc. Just like any other industry, the key to success is to keep innovating. Because it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, if you are not agile, you cannot survive anywhere.”

At the moment, 15% of our tech team are women, but we are dedicated to improving this ratio. Why do women love to work in AI? We asked our Data Scientist Hala, who has been working on our algorithms since the beginning of e-bot7, “I love that with every problem I want to solve with AI, I need to understand how humans’ intelligence would solve it before creating an artificial intelligence that can solve it.”

A first step to bringing more women to AI is to make them feel comfortable in their job and not be the only women in the room at work according to a recent study on Women in Workplace 2020 by McKinsey. As reported by the study, women who work with other women are less likely to feel pressure to work more. At e-bot7, we have experienced that not only the collaboration between women internally results in great outcomes, but also when working together with our clients. There are several customers with women as project leads, with which our female colleagues have reported an extraordinary trust relationship that funnels the power of collaboration, creativity, and a lot of fun along the way.

Women in AI at e-bot7

What our female customers think about our AI.

The solution can answer most of our requests directly through the extensive knowledge database. This database grows automatically during operation, without the need for manual work by our agents, making the solution very cost-efficient.
– Leni H.

The user console is very intuitive and the bot gets trained automatically with real chat data without manual effort. It is awesome that everyone in our company can use the console, even colleagues that do not have a tech background because it is so easy. Our use case has been implemented faster than expected with the results that we desired.
– Nele S.

-User experience with the dashboard is great, including tools to both receive insights about conversations and create content for replies.
-Customer Success team is super helpful and always available, they strive to get the use cases implemented asap.
-Seamless integration to our Customer Service platform.
– Julia F.

The e-bot7 solution was easy to implement (it only took us a few days) and the console is very intuitive thanks to the simple yet helpful features. We quickly realized that this is of great value for both our customers and agents.
– Mia J.

– The e-bot7 console is very intuitive and easy to understand.
– Solution works perfectly with our customer service platform.
– Available in different languages (great benefit for our multinational customers).
– Chatbot learns automatically and does not need to be trained manually by our agents.
– Elena M.

Another step towards achieving this is by hiring more women in tech. If you would like to apply and work in the field of AI, check our open positions here e-bot7.com/jobs/. Our HR lead Jane is happy to talk to you.

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