What is the true potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Enterprises are still trying to figure that out, but Marjam Sabet thinks the answer is much simpler than that.
“AI is not about just making the industry better,” says Marjam, sales director at Amelia, an IPsoft Company. “It's about adopting, it's about how you can make the everyday of your life better.”
Marjam thinks that AI has become an “overused” term and that “nobody really knows how to define the human intelligence because it's very hard to mimic the human brain.” She prefers to use “machine learning” to describe the technology’s impact.
“During the last year, I would actually say it has been part of our daily lives,” she says, noting that Netflix successfully recommends movies, Spotify recommends songs and smartphones now recognize their users’ faces. “Machine learning will empower the way that we actually use our time. It will make life easier for employees to be more creative and allow companies to step up and take everything to the next level.”
Marjam says that she enjoys finding solutions to complex problems, and that enjoyment ultimately led her to a career in technology.
“I always was a problem solver and I was interested in seeing how things work, how they were assembled and what solutions could make your everyday a little bit easier,” she explains. “I actually wanted to become a doctor first because that's also helping and finding solutions for individuals. Digging deeper, I loved math and physics, so I decided to go into engineering, but I wanted to have that in combination with some kind of business.”
Industrial management became her biggest passion. “What really inspired me was that I could see how technology could enable us to simplify and improve our lives,” she says.
Marjam believes that the skepticism surrounding AI has more to do with a lack of familiarity than the actual problems that could arise from using the technology. “Everybody's talking about AI, machine learning and robots like they’re going to replace you in your everyday work,” she says, adding that humans will always be needed. “This is not a threat but an opportunity for you. There are less things to be skeptical about and more things to be excited about.”
When describing AI to non-technical family and friends, Marjam explains how the technology can prevent them from having to wait in a queue when calling customer service. “AI cuts the wait times,” she boasts. “You will find that you get help with your questions much faster and more accurate.”
So much talent is out there
Many firms have made progress in recruiting women, and there are a growing number of programs that encourage girls to learn more about STEM. But there’s more work to be done, and that work won’t be complete until women are equally represented, Marjam says.
“We are really depriving ourselves of the 50% of human talent [in AI] because we are 50% of society,” she says of the lack of women working in the field. “I think we need to blend this diversity because it improves productivity. We need to make sure that more creative minds are creating this model, because once you create this model, it will be unlimited in what it can do.”
When pursuing a career in a STEM field, Marjam says that women should “be bold and dare to ask questions.”
“Dare to get involved, dare to get your hands dirty, dare to speak or make mistakes,” she advises. “Be brave enough to rise again and pursue if this is an area of interest for you. They really need more women in the technical part of science, but also on the business side.”