Artificial intelligence is one of the most promising and exciting technology fields to currently be in. Yet it remains highly unbalanced when it comes to gender. According to Nesta, a UK-based innovation foundation, only around 14% percent of AI paper authors in 2019 were women and this number has not improved since 1990. „Global Talent Report“ states that in the 2019 only 18 % of authors at the leading AI conferences were women. „Artificial Intelligence Index“ reports that 80 percent of AI professors on average are men. According to NYU report „Discriminating systems: gender, race and power in AI“ only 15% of AI reserchers at Facebook and only 10% at Google are women.

AI is the future, but where are the women? Let us introduce you to 5 outstanding female AI experts that are currently shaking Lithuanian AI scene! Let’s go!

Kamile Jokubaite, CEO of Attention Insight

Kamile Jokubaite is a CEO of Attention Insight, a Lithuanan AI startup that  offers AI-powered pre-launch analytics, enabling marketing teams to optimize their campaigns and landing pages prior to their launch a She is a marketing expert with a focus on AI and research. Prior to founding Attention Insight, Kamile worked with technology companies from the US, Canada, Netherlands, and the Baltics, founded a digital communication agency and worked in the consumer behavior field.

„I stepped into the field while looking for solutions on how to deliver fast and data-driven feedback to marketers and business owners, latter I understood that AI-human collaboration became and always will be the key part of my career. Now AI is reshaping all sectors and industries, experts are already calling it a fourth industrial revolution – and it’s shaping to be the biggest one yet. Fundamentally, AI is becoming more accepted and utilized across all areas of life and people are experiencing the benefits,“ Kamile says.

She believes that that human and AI collaboration will reshape the concept of work and our everyday life. Therefore, according to Kamile, AI should be called “augmented intelligence” rather than “artificial intelligence,” since the best outcomes occur when people and machines complement each other.

„If you’re more excited about creating new algorithms and solving high-level engineering problems – I advise you to pick your bachelor’s or master’s carefully and seek an experienced mentor in the field and/or internship in one of the leading AI companies. If you’d love to apply AI to your every day job – join in AI communities like AI Lithuania and figure out what are the latest tools/papers published in your domain. Starting is as simple as attending a first community meeting or logging into the Coursera course. I assure you that since all industries will be affected by AI getting your feet early in the process gives you a competitive edge regardless of your career path,“ Kamile shares her advice.

Dr. Agne Paulauskaite-Taraseviciene, Director of Kaunas Technology University Artificial Intelligence Centre

Dr. Agne Paulauskaite-Taraseviciene holds a doctoral degree in Physical Sciences – Informatics. She currently works as associate professor in the Department of Applied Informatics at Kaunas University of Technology and director of KTU Artificial Intelligence Centre. She is working in the research area of computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms and simulation modelling. Since 2007, Agne has participated in various  international and national research projects as a researcher and coordinator. Together with her team Agne has put together the first Bachelor study program in the field of artificial intelligence in Lithuania that has been launched in 2020. Dr. Paulauskaite-Taraseviciene is one of the four representatives of Lithuanian scientists participating in the UNESCO process of evaluating and consulting on AI ethics and recommendations.

„I have been always interested in how to make smart and effective decisions. Therefore, I have started with optimization theory, data analysis, and simple expert systems (fuzzy logic). Basically, my interest in AI was grounded on the need to optimize very simple and routine tasks. Then I realized how many useful solutions I can create with such basic knowledge and how many different problems I can solve with deeper knowledge on AI and ML. For me, it was so interesting that I wanted to teach the students how to use AI methods through the intelligent decision-making perspective“, Agne reflects.

Agne believes that AI is one of the most interesting and  promising fields to study in the 21st century and gender should not determine someone‘s decision to choose this path or not.

„AI refers to a broad field of science encompassing not only computer science but also philosophy, ethics, linguistics, and other areas, so everyone can find something for themselves. Understanding AI allows you to create amazing things.  Don‘t listen to people who discourage you and who tell you that AI is not for women. Do what you truly like and choose a profession that best matches your skills and interests,“ Agne says.

Rugile Dauliute, CEO of EquuSight

Rugile is a founder and a CEO of EquuSight, a startup that is developing an AI-based program for the assessment of pathologies in equine radiographs. Rugile has a veterinary medicine doctor degree and worked in a Large Animal Clinic in Kaunas for up to 4 years. She interned in various veterinary clinics around the world – in Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Portugal and the UK.  Her main professional interest lies around horses, since she has been professionally riding from an early age.

„I couldn’t say that I made a choice to work in AI field. The need for it came from the daily work in the equine clinic. I encountered a problem and was looking for the solution and discovered that there already is an AI-based solution to my problem in human medicine. Then we worked on making it work for large animals,“ Rugile says.

She says that obtaining mentors and building a strong team was a key to success in developing the EquuSight solution.

„The skills and understanding of technology can be learnt. What really matters is your ability to cooperate and push yourself forward. Once started, you will face the fact that we have a beautiful AI/ tech community in Lithuania, which is always there to support you,“ Rugile shares.

Aurelija Serniute, Research and Teaching Assistant at Vilnius University, Faculty of Law

Aurelija is currently a PhD candidate at the Vilnius University, Faculty of Law and works there as Research and Teaching Assistant. Her scientific interests revolve around the interaction of emerging technologies and human rights, especially the problematic aspects between AI, right not to be discriminated and right to data protection. She regularly delivers presentations on technology-related matters and is an active at Vilnius University Tech Hub and Artificial Intelligence Association of Lithuania.

During my master studies I became interested in the topic of data protection. While law covered the second element – protection aspect, I felt that I lacked deeper understanding about data. In this context I started to read increasingly more about data-driven technologies and discovered so many fascinating questions related to AI! I feel that work in the field of AI brings new perspectives about natural –  human – intelligence and social relations between humans. Complexity of the topic is what moves me forward,”  Aurelija says.

To those hesitating whether to pursue a career in AI Aurelija suggests following your dreams without overthinking, to ask questions with no shame or hesitation and to approach the topic of AI with patience and determination.

„Just dive in the vast ocean of online articles and courses, even if you don‘t know how to swim at the moment. You will find all the necessary tools in the process. Even if it turns out later that you are going to pursue a different path, all the knowledge you gathered will immensely help you. Get used to challenging yourself with unfamiliar information. Our brains get lazy very quickly, that is why we need to provide them a regular “training”. Not only to be smarter than future AI, but also because floating on your back in the sea of technologies is not a natural state – this field is highly dynamic, constantly evolving,“ Aurelija recommends.

Sandra Virbukaite, Senior Data Scientist at Telesoftas/Co-founder of Curtains Calculator

Sandra is a  Senior Data Scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Department at TeleSoftas and  a PhD student at the Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies, Vilnius University. She is also a co-founder of the startup Curtains Calculator that helps to save hours of valuable time for curtain retailers by automating calculations of curtains and blinds.

Sandra has an experience in data science of more than 10 years and is actively sharing her expertise by teaching at Vilnius University,  Vilnius Coding School  and being a mentor at the Women Go Tech programme.

„I did not specifically choose AI path, it just naturally happened in the course of my career. I was studying and working on what seemed interesting to me, where I felt curious. This is what I reccomend to others –  choose your path of studies or work according to your strengths and curiosity, and don’t be afraid to change the chosen path at any time of your life“, Sandra says.