In the future, there will be a massive increase in the significance of artificial intelligence (AI) for industry and society. As our daily lives are already greatly influenced by AI, it is vital that we make the best possible use of the work-related expertise available in this area. We must also ensure that AI follows ethical guidelines. Diversity in the AI sector, where women currently account for 16 percent of the workforce, could contribute significantly to achieving both of these goals. Both of the aspects mentioned above are particularly significant for the research activities of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. This is because its Heilbronn site, the Research and Innovation Center for Cognitive Service Systems (KODIS), supports regional businesses and intermediate institutions in developing and implementing AI-based service systems.
Association promotes knowledge-sharing initiatives for women in the AI and robotics sector
As a non-profit association, Women in AI & Robotics is committed to supporting and providing training to women in the AI and robotics sector, with the aim of significantly increasing the number of female specialists in this field. By participating in events, hackathons and accelerator programs, women will gain increased visibility. An important factor here is collaboration with women who engage with AI in their professional lives or work in the robotics sector. “AI-based tools, products and services will only have a positive impact and eliminate social injustices if the individuals working within the sector reflect the diversity of our society, with a particular emphasis on gender, ethnicity and skills. To effectively increase diversity in artificial intelligence, civil society, government and industry need to collaborate with one another. As a non-profit organization working toward this goal, we are delighted to have Fraunhofer IAO as our partner,” states Sheila Beladinejad, founder of the Women in AI & Robotics association.
Heilbronn offers lots of benefits as a location for strategic collaborations
The strategic collaboration with Women in AI & Robotics offers numerous advantages for the Heilbronn site, where a significant AI ecosystem is set to emerge with the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai). As such, the Heilbronn site can make use of the existing networks and structures of Women in AI & Robotics to get female tech personnel interested in AI on the ground. At the same time, women will be able to access various local activities and, as a result, be introduced to the research and development projects in the Heilbronn AI ecosystem in a targeted way. “Women in AI & Robotics founding a new chapter at the Heilbronn site shows that Heilbronn is among the frontrunners as a hub for AI innovation,” says Dr. Bernd Bienzeisler, Head of Fraunhofer IAO in Heilbronn.
Under the motto “Diversity fuels innovation,” the Heilbronn Chapter kick-off event will be held at the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence (Ipai) premises on July 4, 2023. Four inspiring women — including Univ.-Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle, the institute director of the University of Stuttgart Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT) and Fraunhofer IAO — will speak on the topic in a panel discussion.