Women Making Strides in AI Attend China Tech Industry Event

December 26, 2018  Editor: Liu Xiaochen
Women Making Strides in AI Attend China Tech Industry Event
Female sci-tech workers attend the China Intelligence Industry Summit in Chengdu. 


Many female tech experts who attended the 8th China Intelligence Industry Summit held in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, recently shared their knowledge and experience of working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

Among them was Feng Junlan. She is the chief scientist of China Mobile Research and director of the Big Data and IT Technology Institute.

Feng says she has encouraged and promoted women to take part in the AI industry on various occasions, and she hopes that more female thinking can be incorporated into the research on AI. "Starting over a hundred years ago, women have gained the right to own property, the right to vote, the right to work," she said, "And if AI is to shape the future, then women today should seize the chance to define their rights in the future by using this technology," she added. 

When it comes to the communications industry, Feng says the most important issue is safety, despite the huge benefits of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications.

The application of AI to the field of security is also an essential problem to tackle, according to her analysis.

Feng said, ''Science and technology are seeking to bring human beings a better world, a world which not only make our lives faster, more efficient, and more intelligent, but should also provide us a warmer and more loving place for us to live in. However, to build such a beautiful future, it takes the joint efforts of both man and women.''

As the number of female workers in AI increases, so do their contributions. Among Feng's group of female AI workers is Huang Heyan. She is the vice chairman of the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence (CAAI), which is the sponsor of the summit.

Huang says it is of great necessity to establish a special working committee for women, given the increasing number of female scientific and technical workers and the growing significance of their achievements.

As a result, with the support of the association, led by Huang, the female scientific and technical workers committee of the CAAI was established in 2015.

Female scientific and technical workers are indispensable for the development of AI and technology, says Huang. Women are good at emphasizing the practicality of technology, whereas men are more focused on updating programming.

Being more considerate and concerned about details makes it easier for women to be innovative in this field, as they may pay attention to some things which men may ignore.

"At present, the number of female scientific and technical workers in China has been on the rise in a steady way. The proportion of female directors and female members of the CAAI has also increased."

Other female co-workers in AI include Fu Xiaolan, Huang Xuanjing and Chu Min. They have all made great contributions with their expertise.

Huang Heyan is also an expert in language intelligence processing and machine translation. She is director of the Beijing Massive Language Information Processing and Cloud Computing Application Engineering Technology Research Center.

She has hosted key projects that have won her first and second prizes at the National Science and Technology Progress Awards and the title of National Outstanding Science and Technology Worker.

Feng Junlan, a former researcher at AT&T research center, one of the world's foremost communications companies, is a data analysis architect at IBM Big Data Product Development Center.

Last year, she won the Outstanding Innovative Talent Award from the Central Enterprise Returned Overseas Chinese Federation and the United Front Work Department of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

Feng believes AI will provide everyone with a better future. Though more women have participated in this field, they are still in the minority. That is why women should be more courageous so as to strive for a larger space to define the future with AI.

Fu Xiaolan is the director of the psychology laboratory at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and dean of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As a doctoral tutor, she is responsible for and has participated in over 30 scientific and technical projects. She was awarded the title of National March 8th Red Flag Bearer as an outstanding individual.

So far, over 500 organizations have applied her research achievements into use.

Huang Xuanjing, a professor and doctor tutor at Fudan University, is also an executive director of the Chinese Information Processing Society of China. Many of her research projects are supported by the National Natural Science Foundation, as well as the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology.

Chu Min, vice president of AISpeech, is also the director of Beijing Research and Development Institute. In the past 10 years, she has been engaged in scientific research at Microsoft in Asia, and has founded a speech synthesis research group.

Under her leadership, the first Chinese-English bilingual speech synthesis system, called Mulan, was presented to the world.

Chu Min said, ''Besides research and development, what we are trying to do is to find the real value of AI in today's large-scale industrial chain.''

Many of women's inventions have provided innovative solutions to the AI industry, and they are working together to solve problems and making efforts towards a better future.

(Source: China Women's News /translated and edited by Women of China)

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