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As the world reflects on the individuals who shaped the year, the name of a computer engineer working in ethical artificial intelligence (AI) kept popping up: Timnit Gebru earned recognition from ELLE in “ELLE 100: Women That Are Changing the World,” and Time magazine featured her in “The 100 Most Influential People of 2022.”
Gebru, a Black woman who founded and serves as the executive director of the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR), focuses on the ethical consequences of AI and algorithmic biases. 
A year ago, Gebru launched DAIR, which aims to educate people on diversity in the technology industry. She has focused on AI’s limitations and discriminatory product design. 
Gebru is also the co-founder of Black in AI, which looks to boost the presence and inclusion of Black people working in the AI field through mentorship, 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 are significantly more concerned about the application of AI, according to 2022 findings by the Pew Research Center. For instance, while only 27% of men say they would be somewhat or very concerned if artificial intelligence programs could diagnose medical issues, 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 people compared to 80% of women.
Women like Gebru could help change perceptions and the trajectory of AI. 
According to the National Science Foundation’s report “The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2022,” in 2019, 26% of computer and mathematical scientists were women. Employment for computer and information research scientists is growing faster than the average for other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s expected that from 2021 to 2031, employment will grow 21%
Image Credit: whiteMocca / Shutterstock.com
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