Increasingly, women have been moving into the AI-driven space, taking the market by storm with their enterprising spirit, boundless energy and can-do attitude.

On 20th March, for the first time in NUS Enterprise history, an all-women panel took to the stage to discuss how female-run startups are leveraging on AI in their businesses to impact the world. Held at BLOCK71 Singapore, the seminar room hosted a group of capable and curious individuals. In collaboration with She Loves Tech, the panel members consisted of Hazel Savage, CEO of Musiio, Lauren Stephenson – Head of Marketing, Nugit, Leanne Robers, Co-founder of She Loves Tech, Investor & Mentor, and moderated by Konstance from She Loves Tech.

Our panel of speakers – From L to R: Konstance, Leanne Robers, Lauren Stephenson, Hazel Savage

1. How AI is used in companies, and how it disrupts the current industry it is in

Artificial Intelligence – a common buzzword in the technopreneurship space – is gradually being included in businesses. Across the board, this new tech is used by companies to streamline and simplify labour-intensive and time-consuming processes – proving to accelerate operations. In example, for Musiio, the usage of AI allows for thousands of songs to be identified in the matter of mere seconds. This would not be possible if it were to be carried out by a human employee.

The usage of AI greatly eases the workload and proves to be far more efficient in instances of repetitive tasks that involve the consumption of data. It also has a higher rate of accuracy of work.

2. Skepticism about the use of AI, and the problems it creates

The existence of a technology that holds the power to completely eradicate the need for certain jobs in the market is bound to cause some skepticism. However, panelists agree that it is important for people to remember that AI is used as a means to provide individuals with the necessary tools they need to complete their tasks in a more efficient manner. This enables staff to focus on other areas of growth within their organizations as well – allowing them to spend more time with their clients to fully understand their needs, and developing strategies to grow and develop their companies.

3. Noticeable AI trends in the market

The first trend raised, interestingly, is the nature of AI in present-time may be considered to be slightly biased and exclusive. For example, Leanne recounts how a machine responded when asked to solve the following analogy:

“Men are to computer programmers, as women are to…”

She states the shock she felt when the machine replied with ‘Homemakers’, and how the current AI – mostly based off of Google Analytics recognizes white males better as compared to those who are female or people of colour.

“When AI is small, it doesn’t affect us. But if AI is huge to the extent that it is in our phones and everything we do, then it leads to having consequences.”

It is imperative for everyone to work towards building AI solutions that are fully inclusive and can be used by anyone and everyone.

The second trend in AI is that women entrepreneurs are rising to be known as changemakers, as they are more inclined towards building businesses that have a social impact – serving majority of the underserved market, which is an important demographic to take into account as well.

4. Where is AI headed?

AI, as amazing a technology it is, still has a long way to go. As it is very susceptible to their own biases, it is essential to train AI to be fully bias-free.

The technology also has a bright future, as it can be used to get real-time, predictive data that can be largely useful in strategy planning for organizations.

5. Advice for future entrepreneurs who seek to incorporate AI into their businesses

Recognizing the power of AI and its relevance to a company’s operations is imperative in ensuring that it is utilized optimally. It is necessary to only adopt AI if it has a significant contribution to solving the problem a company has set out to solve. It should not be adopted merely for namesake, rather wielded as a smart tool to achieve the company’s goals.

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