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Irish Ambassador for Women in AI

25 May 2022

Congratulations to Dr Begüm Genç, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, and Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics who is the newly appointed Irish Ambassador for Women in AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Women in AI (WAI) is a nonprofit do-tank working towards inclusive AI that benefits global society. It is a community-driven initiative bringing empowerment, knowledge and active collaboration via education, research, events, and blogging. WAI was founded in 2016 in Paris, France and has grown into a powerful community with more than 8.000 members (and counting) in 140 countries.

Dr Genç commented on the importance of the role:

"My main goal as the Ireland ambassador of WAI is to increase the number of women and other underrepresented groups in the AI field in the Irish ecosystem by either providing them more opportunities (i.e. positions, education, practice) or by bringing awareness to the underlying issues that prevent women to pursue career in AI. Some people believe that talking about the gender inequality in AI is only causing more inequality, and if we stop talking about it there will not be any issue. I strongly disagree with this perspective. The gender inequality in the AI field is evident and it will not change if people don’t take action. Not talking will only lead to acceptance of the current circumstances, will not lead to change. We need more diversity at all levels of the workforce".

Dr. Begüm Genç is a Post-doctoral researcher working in the research group led by Prof. Barry O’Sullivan, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, UCC. She contributes to various H2020 EU funded projects including BRAINE, HumaneAI, and StairwAI. 

She graduated from the Izmir University of Economics with a bachelors degree in computer engineering. Subsequently, she completed her MSc thesis in the field of information visualization for biological pathways as a member of the i-Vis research group at Bilkent University. In 2019, she obtained her Ph.D from the Optimisation and Decision Analytics group at Insight Centre for Data Analytics, UCC. Throughout her Ph.D studies, she was also lecturing part-time at local colleges. She was formerly a researcher at the Confirm SFI Centre for Smart Manufacturing.

In parallel to Begüm’s interests, she is an active member of many non-profit communities advocating diversity in AI, speaks at various national and international venues, organises workshops and events. Since 2015, she has a growing passion for supporting female participation in STEM with a spotlight for AI. She has been actively participating in the I-Wish events organized in Cork for promoting and inspiring the young Irish women to study STEM subjects. She is also an active member of ACM-W (Association for Computing Machinery) Europe.

College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Coláiste na hEolaíochta, na hInnealtóireachta agus na hEolaíochta Bia

Block E, Level 3, Food Science Building, UCC, Cork, T12 YN60.

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