ESTEEM Student attends 44th NSBE Conference in Pittsburgh, PA

Author: Ornella Gashumba

Ornella GashumbaOrnella Gashumba

The 44th NSBE Conference in Pittsburgh, PA was an opportunity for me to meet fellow Black/Minority engineers and STEM professionals from across the country. There, I learned from and exchange with experts from companies such as Google on topics including building against bias and the importance of using unbiased training data when it comes to Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning. These two fields contribute increasingly to everyday life and will continue to do so in the future. At NSBE, we discussed the real-life harmful implications that human-biases can have once introduced into an algorithm and we also talked about the importance of identifying those biases.


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My take away from the conference was the understanding that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will change the landscape of work as we know it, mainly absorbing the tasks where productivity and efficiency are the main focus. In the words of Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick and co-founder at WIRED Magazine, answers will soon become cheap but what will be scarce are good questions. So, activities that are inherently inefficient and therefore difficult to program such as discovery, innovation, creativity, empathizing, inventing are likely to remain human as computers are not good at them. As young STEM & engineering professionals and students at the conference, we were encouraged to pursue our curiosity, ask good questions and innovate.


I also got access to cool resources such as:


This free crash course on machine learning. 

This fun experiment (no-coding required) to understand how machine learning works.


If you are interested in hearing Kevin Kelly’s take on Artificial Intelligence, go here.