Barbara Liskov has become only the second woman to win the Turing Award for her work in AI. The Turing Award is considered by some to be like the Nobel Prize of computing and Liskov has long been considered a leading figure in her field. She works over at the Programming Methodology Group in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT in the states and she’s definitely a worthy winner.
Her win started me thinking about how few women there are in the artificial intelligence field, which is a real shame. Some argue that women have a natural ability and affinity with language, interaction between humans and relationship building. All of these are at the core of a successful AI exchange and therefore it makes logical sense that women would be good at developing humanistic AI.
Obviously the social constraints of technology and AI being dominated by men in general come into play here and that’s a real pity. Women are generally in the minority in many areas of IT related work, and it’s really time that we started to focus attention on getting young girls attention with these fields. Where to start though.. that is the issue….