Artificial Intelligence, along with Data Science and Machine Learning, is one of the newest and most popular fields in technology for women. It has taken the tech field by storm. AI has opened up opportunities for women to advance technology and the world. The tech industry is looking towards AI for innovative solutions to critical problems like the environmental crisis. Microsoft leads the pack with their initiative AI for Good, through which they partner with different organizations, people, and developers to solve different types of problems. Currently, Microsoft’s AI programs include AI for Earth, AI for Health, AI for Accessibility, and AI for Humanitarian Action, which create new technology and provide grants to researchers who change the world. Women who are knowledgeable about AI or are willing to learn have a chance to improve the world we live in.
With so many opportunities available, where are women in this field? According to diversity in AI/ML research done by Montreal startup Element AI and WIRED, only 12 percent of AI researchers were women. This shows that there is a huge disparity in women in AI. With AI being the leading technology to bring change in the world, more women need to get involved. AI is a new area in tech that is still being developed, so it is a great field to get involved in.
As AI develops, the different people working in the field develop as well. Since AI opportunities are so new, women from different career backgrounds can easily get involved. According to Career Smart, most women are in the education, social work, and healthcare fields. Huge advances made in educational technology and health technology create perfect opportunities for women in these fields.
Artificial intelligence is being used at an increasing rate in educational technology.In fact, Forbes expects “that by 2024 upwards of 47% of learning management tools will be enabled by AI capabilities.” This makes edtech a fertile field for women, those in tech or otherwise. Teachers can provide huge insights into edtech because they are intimately familiar with the issues that need to get tackled. Schools around the country are already implementing AI in their program. According to EdTech Magazine, “A New Jersey elementary school, Slackwood Elementary School, is using an AI-Assisted teaching assistant called Happy Numbers to identify where students are struggling with math benchmarks and provide personalized assistance.” To solve educational issues like these and others, the perspective of a teacher is crucial.
BREAKING NEW GROUND IN HEALTHCARE
In addition to educational purposes, Artificial Intelligence can also be used in the healthcare profession. Groundbreaking technology is being created to help those in underserved communities. Microsoft’s AI for Health project is funding new technology, such as a program that “works to improve the diagnosis of diseases like tuberculosis and cervical cancer, detect and respond to disease outbreaks, and support efficient and effective health systems”. Healthcare access is extremely dependent on your demographic and location, using AI to provide more services can help bridge this socioeconomic gap, and women need to be at the forefront of this. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, nearly 80% of workers in the healthcare field are women. Women who are knowledgeable in both health and tech can make a huge difference in the way healthcare is provided throughout the world.
Women are crucial in artificial intelligence and machine learning more than in any other field because the lack of diversity in AI and ML creates bias in AI programs. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are based on data that is fed into a program by a programmer, so if a programmer has bias, the AI program will inherit those biases. According to a recent Forbes article, “Why Women Should Be Excited About AI,” “AI programs are embedding programmers’ ethics and values.” The article discussed the concern of a homogenous workforce in AI. “85% of the machine learning workforce is male,” so there is a very real possibility that we could end up in a machine-dominated world of historically “privileged class” values. Women are needed in the AI field to prevent this kind of future.
Beyond helping the world and research, AI can be a lucrative career. Many roles within the AI umbrella pay very well, especially when compared with non-tech roles. According to Datamation, salaries for AI jobs listed on Glassdoor average $111,118/year. This makes AI a great career direction for those with both personal and financial goals.
With so many advantages, you might wonder what skills you need to succeed in AI. Some of the most important skills to cultivate for an AI career involve programming languages. A strong coding background will allow you to create artificial intelligence programs that accomplish whatever you need. Python, Java, and even R training will be beneficial to anyone looking to jump into AI. Finally, some familiarity with data science is a benefit to anyone in the artificial intelligence sector. Data science will give you a deeper understanding of how AI works, and will help you as you develop algorithms and other data products. For more information about getting started with data science, check out SheTek’s blog, “How Data Science Can Fast-Track Your Career Development.”
As AI careers continue to grow, women in tech stand to take advantage of this new field. AI roles are lucrative, personally fulfilling, and encourage constant growth and learning. Jump in feet first and start looking at AI job requisitions today. Your future success is waiting for you!