The future of work, healthcare and mobility are among the areas being shaped by AI. It is so vast and powerful that it stands to change virtually every aspect of our lives. But it cannot achieve those changes on its own; AI will need the most brilliant minds to come together to ensure the technology lives up to expectations.
Ozge Tarim, senior business account manager at GlobalDWS, believes people within and outside of STEM-related fields will make enormous contributions to AI going forward. “I don't have an academic background in one of the STEM disciplines,” she says. “I studied geography with a specialization in environmental sustainability.”
Ozge initially worked in communications and believes her education choices, while not typical of an AI professional, have assisted her in her current role. “I don’t regret what I chose to study for undergrad,” she says. “I think environmental sustainability is a great field that allows you to question and analyze the human-nature relationship and how this relationship has been shaping our environment for centuries. In the case of AI, I think we also need to take a step back and look at how human and machine can coexist and work together to shape our future environments.”
In that sense, Ozge sees a correlation between what she studied and her work at GlobalDWS, a company that provides AI solutions for a wide variety of innovative technologies, such as service robots – including one that’s powered by Amelia.
“I really enjoy what I do,” she says, adding that AI is an exciting field with constant change and innovation. “AI is shaping what the future will look like, and the idea of me playing a tiny, tiny part in that really excites me. I also really like the people I work with. We’re a great, collective bunch of innovators who come from different backgrounds and regions, and I think that pushes our creativity even more.”
Don’t be your own worst enemy
Ozge says she has had great mentors, both men and women, who helped her grow professionally and pushed her to get out of her comfort zone. She says it is very important for future generations to surround themselves with people who do the same, empowering and building confidence in them whenever possible.
“At the beginning of my career, especially the first year, oftentimes I found myself lacking confidence,” Ozge recalls. “I kept telling myself, ‘You don't have an academic background in STEM, what are you going to say in this meeting?’ ”
She worried about the industry’s male dominance, as well as her own inexperience with public speaking. But she realized that she was just making excuses and had become her own worst enemy.
“I was lucky enough to have such great mentors who encouraged me to speak up in meetings and express my point of view,” says Ozge. “I’ve put in a lot of time to educate myself and develop a deeper understanding of this domain and now I am comfortable expressing my opinions and having a voice at the table.”
The hybrid workforce starts now
GlobalDWS is helping to drive the transformation to a hybrid workforce in which AI-powered digital colleagues and robots work alongside each other to improve productivity and achieve superior business results. And with the hybrid workforce coming so quickly, particularly in the face of COVID-19, Ozge thinks it’s important to properly educate those who may have concerns about what this transformation means for the future.
“It’s normal for people to feel anxious or experience fear when they're faced with a change as there is often uncertainty and ambiguity that comes with it,” says Ozge. “People are often most skeptical on the tangible impact service robots will have on their business. This is where our team comes into play to provide education and training on how they can leverage service robots to improve their specific business needs.”
Ozge’s answer is always the same: robots were designed to work with us, not replace us.
“They're here to be your digital colleague,” she says. “They're an assistive technology and we're the innovators behind it. We are the drivers of this change, and it's only going to improve and enhance our experiences with our environment. I think we're going to see its impact more and more in the coming years.”