Women in Tech Workshop: From ‘Big Data, Your Best Friend’ to ‘AI, Your New Boss?’

Women in Tech Workshop: From ‘Big Data, Your Best Friend’ to ‘AI, Your New Boss?’

September 24, 2017 at 02:09pm

A group of young Algerian women and men passionate about technology recently attended a one-day workshop focused on the intersection of technology, business, and industry. They explored topics such as “Data and analytics – your new best friends” and “Could Artificial Intelligence be my manager tomorrow?”

Led by Amel Benali, a senior technical project manager for GE Healthcare in Algeria, the workshop gave participants an up-close and practical understanding of how technology is impacting industry today and tomorrow, and the opportunities it provides for operational improvements.

The workshop was organized by the “Women in Tech” club, which was launched earlier this year by GE in partnership with talent and startups accelerator space Sylabs Given the strong interest in the workshop from both women and men, the event was open to all at Sylabs

Amel began the program with a history and overview of information technology, a review of industrial engineering and early industrial monitoring, and the role of data today in monitoring and decision-making.

She then explored the digital revolution in the industrial sector and the new possibilities enabled by big data analytics, and connected sensors and equipment. This digital industrial integration can help operators improve the performance, efficiencies, productivity, availability, and reliability of big industrial machines and systems.

Amel explained how these technologies make it possible to create digital/virtual versions of physical assets through a process GE calls the “digital twin.”

This led into Predix, GE’s cloud-based operating system designed for industry, and explained how it is helping organizations in Algeria and across the region, as well as globally, to realize the tremendous possibilities of digital industrial solutions.

Participants learned about examples of Predix-based apps working to predict fire hazards, contribute to agricultural decision-making, and enhance pharmaceuticals manufacturing

She closed with a question that many of us have: how far will artificial intelligence (AI) go in the workplace, and even wondered whether our bosses might, one day, be AI algorithms. Her answer was “No,” since even with industrial systems, GE sees Predix fundamentally as a tool that human decision makers use to manage equipment and systems and operate them more effectively.

The workshop followed a training session and site visit in July to Algesco, one of GE’s largest turbine repair facilities of its kind in the world, that’s located in Algeria.

The club reflects the commitment behind GE’s announcement in February that the company seeks to employ 20,000 women globally in technical fields by 2020.

The club seeks to give young Algerian women a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions through mentoring initiatives, conferences, workshops and hands-on visit such as the trip to Algesco.

Read more stories about GE’s commitment to support development in Algeria by following this link, and for more on GE’s work to encourage women in STEM fields across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, click here.


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