Artificial Intelligence, from Automation to Collaboration

We used to read about robots that would make our lives easier in Sci-Fi books. Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of daily life. AI is now used in the spheres of medical diagnostics, customer services, or human resources, helping employers find the right candidate for a job. The future is here, and it requires new generations to be competent in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). AI opens an array of opportunities for girls and women as just between the years 2000 and 2010, STEM-related jobs grew at three times the rate of other kinds of employment. It is thought that by the end of 2018, there will be 2.4 million STEM job positions available.

According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, STEM occupations out-earn non-STEM fields by 12–30% across all education levels. This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that four billion people on the planet use a mobile phone and that 90% of all of the world’s data has been generated in the last couple of years. Artificial Intelligence has also influenced business practices. AI generates consumer insights based on free and unclassified information that is publicly available, saving organizations time, money and energy.

Technology will predictably continue to change our lives in many ways. Our era has been marked by the technological transformation of the way we live. We aren’t using technology in order to substitute older tools, but to augment human capabilities. Cellphones not only replaced landlines and rotary dial phones; they revolutionized live video conferences, photography, location services, transportation, surveillance and security as well as facilitating access to cinema, education and music. Cellphones are just one example of how technology is transforming the way we live and interact with the world.

Interestingly, research has revealed that companies that use AI mainly to replace human labor mostly see short-term productivity gains. A study on 1500 companies, carried out by James Wilson and Paul R. Daugherty estimated that firms performed superiorly when humans and machines worked together.

Collaboration between people and AI means enriching each other’s complementary strengths: human skills such as social interaction, creativity, leadership, teamwork, empathy and sense of humor are difficult to substitute. However, the speed and quantitative capabilities of AI- such as analyzing gigabytes of data are unmatchable. The key lies in collaboration and in fusion skills or hybrid abilities which enable people to work effectively at the human-machine interface.

Our fast-paced society of information requires people willing to constantly learn how to do new things. Corporations are now seeking to optimize collaborative intelligence. Company roles will probably be constructed around new, re-imagined processes, and job titles will likely disappear to give place to roles designed around different skills.

In order for IA to open opportunities for everyone, gender bias in technology and science fields must be eradicated. Science would benefit if more women and girls took up STEM careers -or stem subjects in their studies- while women and girls would benefit if they included more subjects that allow them access to new, digital, technological environments.

Today’s leadership embraces change and diversity as well as multiple talents and skills — but most importantly, it embraces the collaborative intelligence of life-long learners.

Angélica Fuentes, Founder Equal Invest

Angélica Fuentes is a Latin American businesswoman and impact investor, who has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most influential women.

Ms. Fuentes was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 and quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. Under her leadership, Grupo Imperial’s annual growth rate increased from 5% in 1992 to 9.5% in 2005. Ms. Fuentes served as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004, and as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000. From 2007 to 2015, she served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico.

Throughout her career, Ms. Fuentes has dedicated significant time and resources to NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that support the cause of women. She participated in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Parity Programme, and led the Mexican Gender Parity Taskforce. She currently serves on Secretary Clinton’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership; is member of the Private Sector Leadership Advisory Council of UN Women; is a Global Advocate for the Girl Up Campaign, a United Nations Foundation program; co-chairs the PVBLIC LATAM regional platform; is member of the Latin American Program Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center; and is member of the Global Dignity’s International Council of Advisors.

Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards. In 2015, UN Women gave her the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award; she was the first female CEO to receive this award for championing gender equality in the private sector. In 2016, PVBLIC Foundation, Ismael Cala Foundation, and the United Nations gave her the award for Latin Woman Empowerment. In 2017, she received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from The Maestro Cares Foundation.

Gender equality, women empowerment and the eradication of poverty have always been a priority in all her endeavors. In 2014, she established the Angelica Fuentes Foundation. In 2016, she founded A Complete and The Imperative Fund. In 2017, she founded Equal Invest, The Beauty Station and A Complete Journey.