Announcing the Winners of the Women in AI Awards at Transform 2021

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One of the goals of doelen Transform 2021 is to bring a wide range of expertise, views and experiences to the stage – this year virtually – to illustrate all the different ways AI is changing the world. As part of VentureBeat’s commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion in AI, that also means that you are aware of who is there represented on the panels and talks.

The Women in AI Awards end a week that started with the Women in AI breakfast, with some conversations about inclusion and bias in between. Margaret Mitchell, a leading AI researcher in responsible AI, spoke, as well as executives from Pinterest, Redfin, Intel and Salesforce.

Selecting the winners

VentureBeat leadership made the final selections from the more than 100 women who were nominated during the open nomination period. Selecting the winners was difficult because it was clear that each of these nominees are pioneers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of AI.

AI Entrepreneur Award

This award honors women who have started companies that show promise in AI and takes into account factors such as business traction, the technology solution offered by the company, and the impact on the AI ​​space.

Briana Brownell, founder and CEO of Pure Strategy was the winner of the AI ​​Entrepreneur Award for 2021. Brownell and her team at Pure Strategy designed “Annie” (ANIE), an Automated Neural Intelligence Engine to help people understand unstructured data. Annie has been used by doctors, specialists and physician assistants to communicate with patients and each other across cultural knowledge and to overcome prejudices, phobias and fears.

AI Research Award

This award honors those who have made a significant impact in an area of ​​AI research, who have helped accelerate progress within their organization, as part of academic research, or who have influenced AI approaches in technology in in general.

dr. Nuria Oliver, chief scientific advisor to Vodafone Institute, received the AI ​​Research Award for 2021. Oliver is the named inventor of 40 filed patents, including a computational modeling of human behavior through machine learning techniques and on the development of intelligent interactive systems. She has been named an ACM Distinguished Scientist and Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the IEEE and of Euroway. She also pioneered non-profit business and academic research to use anonymized mobile data to track and prevent the spread of Ebola and malaria in Africa, which has since reached Africa and Europe within days in 2020. deployed to monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, she has suggested that all data scientists involved in her humanitarian efforts work pro-bono on those projects.

Responsibility and Ethics in AI Award

This award honors those who demonstrate exemplary leadership and progress in the growing topic of responsible AI. This year there was a draw.

Haniyeh Mahmoudian, the global AI ethicist at DataRobot and Noelle Silver, founder of the AI ​​Leadership Institute, both received the Responsibility & Ethics Award for 2021.

Mahmoudian was an early adopter of applying statistical bias measures in development processes. She co-wrote Statistical Parity with natural language statements for users, a feat that has resulted in an invaluable improvement in model bias that scales exponentially as the platform is used by hundreds of companies and v vertical industries such as banking, insurance, technology, CPG, and manufacturing. Mahmoudian, a contributing member of the Trusted AI team’s inclusive culture, operates on the belief that diversity of thought will result in thoughtful and improved outcomes. Mahmoudian’s research on the level of risk for COVID contamination beyond racial bias was used at the federal level to inform resource allocation and also by Moderna during vaccine trials.

A consistent champion of the public understanding of AI and technical fluency, Silver has launched and built several initiatives to support women and underrepresented communities within AI, including the AI ​​Leadership Institute, WomenIn.AI. and more. She is a Red Hat Managed OpenShift Specialist in AI/ML, a WAC Global Digital Ambassador, a Microsoft MVP in Artificialla Intelligence and numerous other awards, as well as a 2019 winner of the VentureBeat Women in AI mentorship award

AI Mentorship Award

This award honors leaders who have mentored, mentored and supported other women in AI and encouraged more women to enter the AI ​​field.

Katia Walsh, Levi Strauss’ chief strategy and AI officer, received the AI ​​Mentorship Award for 2021. Walsh has been an early influencer for women in AI since working at Vodafone, actively seeking female candidates on the team and mentoring younger female colleagues, and as a strategy advisor for Fellowship.AI, a free data science training program. At Levi Strauss, Walsh created a digital upskilling program that is the first of its kind in the industry, with two-thirds of boot camp participants being women.

Rising Star Award

This award honors those early in their AI careers who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills.

The Rising Star Award for 2021 has been awarded to: Arezou Soltani Arrow, a researcher at Deakin University in Australia.

Panah’s work at the Swinburne Social Innovation Research Institute focuses on solving complex social problems such as loneliness, domestic violence and social stigma. While her work requires substantial interdisciplinary research and collaboration with subject matter experts such as social scientists and government policy advisors, she has created a range of new structured machine learning solutions that span across these disciplines to create responsible AI research. Panah’s focus on social inequality and powerlessness has harnessed the power of natural language processing to measure language and algorithmic bias. One such project quantified the degree of gender bias in portraying female athletes in the Victoria, Australian news and how women’s achievements are attributed to their non-individual efforts, such as their team, coach or partner, compared to their male counterparts. Another project looked at gender bias in reporting news about obesity and the impact of weight stigma in public health policy.

Inspiring leaders, meaningful work

One thing became very clear when reading the nominations that came in: there are many leaders who are doing meaningful work in AI. It was very inspiring to see the caliber of executives and scientists who are leading the way in AI and making a difference in our world. The list of nominations are full of leaders who will continue to make their mark for years to come and there will be more opportunities to hear about their work.


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