City AI and IEEE SA Join Forces to Foster Diversity by Design

Original article was published by CITY.AI on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Alpesh, how do you view diversity in relation to your work at IEEE SA?

Diversity is important on multiple levels. It is important from a human-centric design perspective. This helps avoid decisions being made by systems in isolation that may have bias elements and also in the way the logic in the way problems are framed. In addition, diversity in thought at the data level and the governance level. And, its value is further compounded as AI systems are applied to problem sets in finance, healthcare, energy, education, connectivity and a host of other areas.

It is important to have an open process that allows for diverse and evolving input — especially in domains where the application and risk basis are unknown or are known to result in inaccurate or life-impacting outcomes; but even in those areas where we consider mundane part of our lives.

The question is how to enable diversity in perspective, thought and application. This reflects part of the beauty of IEEE. We have an open standardization process; the ability to create open source outcomes, including source code and designs; we offer the ability to explore and innovate under the auspices of our industry connections program; and to create stratified and acceptable formal criteria to certify through our ICAP program. Every one of these approaches offers the ability to engage diverse perspectives to result in a form of consensus.

And beyond an engaging environment that supports diversity in consensus and collaborative outcomes; the IEEE is committed to diversity through terrific programs such as Women in Engineering (WIE). The IEEE WIE is one of the world’s leaders in changing the face of engineering. The IEEE WIE global network connects nearly 20,000 members in over 100 countries to advance women in technology at all points in their life and career. There are over 900 WIE Affinity Groups worldwide that organize and host diverse activities including guest speakers, workshops, and/or seminars.

Furthermore, through its Educational Activities, the IEEE offers TryEngineering and dedicated STEM Mentorship programs to continue to encourage digital literacy and encourage capacity development globally.

These are simply a few examples of how the role of diversity contributes to the role of IEEE and its mission to advance technology for humanity.