Rema Algunaibet’s interest in technology dates back to her time in elementary school. Programming came naturally to her, so she chose to pursue her passion and graduated with first class honors from Cardiff University in the field of Computer Science. She has since followed every opportunity to acquire professional certifications in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
“I like that I am an active programmer whilst focusing on the latest AI algorithms that could shape our future,” Algunaibet, committee member at Saudi Aramco, says of her experience working in the space. “For instance, programming a virtual assistant is challenging and I am proud to know how it works.”
Algunaibet thinks of AI as a “child” that requires “sufficient training as well as clear rules to follow.” She says her family and friends are always enthusiastic to experience what she is developing, and while they don’t typically ask about the nitty-gritty, they have provided her with many useful suggestions to improve her projects.
“During my engagement party, my mother asked me if I could develop a virtual assistant to greet people and sing,” she says. “While it could be feasible, focus is on work for Aramco.”
Algunaibet started her career by working in the Saudi Aramco IT administration. She says her role has been to integrate digital transformation into the IT user experience, primarily focusing on AI techniques.
“Last year, I earned two AI certifications from Udacity, an online training platform. My certifications include Programming for Data Science and Predictive Analytics,” she says. “I am currently working on two AI projects as part of the Enrich IT Customer’s Experience initiative. This initiative utilizes the concept of digital transformation to satisfy IT customers in Saudi Aramco.”
The first project aims to improve self-service by relying on a chatbot to revamp the user experience in IT services. The second will be focused on developing an AI virtual assistant/digital avatar that could personalize the user experience.
“Moreover, personalizing the AI virtual assistant to users would make their experience genuine,” Algunaibet affirms.
Looking ahead to the next generation of workers, Algunaibet believes that passion is the key to attracting more women to STEM fields, including AI.
“If someone is passionate about AI, it would drive them towards it,” she says, adding that she personally developed an interest in the tech when she studied it in college and gained hands-on experience thereafter. “The world empowers women. It is time for us to believe in ourselves and pursue the fields that we are passionate about. Take a step forward and the world will recognize you.”
Algunaibet appreciates the capabilities of AI and believes the technology could contribute positively towards our community. She envisions a future in which AI is used in medical applications, including vaccine development and disease treatment.
“Furthermore, AI could be used to treat children,” she says. “For instance, I have volunteered with a digital avatar company to create an AI digital person that could interact with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autistic kids. I would really like to see this project fully implemented and utilized make a positive difference in their lives.”