2024 is going to be a big year for real-time data and AI. Here are 19 women to watch who are moving the technology, business, and ethics forward.
One of the most significant AI technologies, generative AI, is putting the spotlight on real-time capabilities.
A known risk associated with training all models, not just LLMs, is bias in the training data. This bias can have devastating consequences for individuals, especially in software that automates insights or decisions about employment, “profiling,” finances, and health care. The areas where biased data can lead to damaging results for individuals and whole communities are too many to list here.
How does one overcome bias in data? By ensuring that a dataset truly represents the population being measured and analyzed. Experts suggest that bringing diversity into every level internally can lessen bias in data sets. To put it plainly, it’s often a woman, a person of color, or a veteran who notices the omission of their group from a data set.
These women are changing the makeup of executives and data scientists who work in the field of real-time analytics. They are founders and CEOs of companies that deliver or enable real-time analytics. They are technical leads working on real-time analytics projects and some are masters of using real-time analytics and guiding how their organizations build and adopt real-time decision support and automation.
Shruti Bhat, CPO and CMO, Rockset
Part of the early founding team at Rockset, a search, analytics, and AI database, Shruti Bhat leads product, design, global marketing, and partnerships for the company. Prior to Rockset, she led product management for Oracle Cloud, spanning Oracle’s SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS portfolio with a focus on AI, IoT, and Blockchain, all of which have an aspect of real-time data processing or analytics. Shruti uses her role as a member of the Forbes Technology Council to highlight the business impact and technical foundations of real-time analytics.
Sophie Blee-Goldman, Founding Engineer, Responsive
Sophie works on software for Responsive that helps developers write and run real-time applications at any scale. She is an expert in Kafka Streams and one of the open-source project’s top contributors as well as serving on the Project Manager Committee for Apache Kafka. An internship at Google introduced her to the open-source development approach working on the Linux kernel userspace. She started her tech journey studying physics and doing graduate student research on quantum materials eventually becoming a senior software engineer at Confluent.
Taylor Capito, Co-founder and CEO, GenRAIT
GenRAIT is a startup building an AI-enabled software platform for scientists working with genomic and bio-data. Taylor and her team are applying automation to the biology field with the result that new products designed from genomic data reach the market more quickly. She is a recognized expert in the data security field.
Shir Chorev, Co-founder and CTO, Deepchecks
The Forbes Europe 30 under 30 2021 list included Shir Chorev who had impressed with her technical foresight and entrepreneurial drive. Before co-founding Deepcheecks which provides continuous validation that ML and AI models are functioning correctly and being trained on quality data, Shir had already had positions within the Israeli military and government where she applied her data science skills and her research into algorithms to cybersecurity. She describes her team as being passionate about “knocking some common sense into machine learning.” Deepcheeks has recently contributed much of their code to open source and are pursuing an open-source based business model.
Deirdre Clute, Co-founder and COO, Rightfoot
Included in the Forbes 30 under 30, Enterprise Technology list in 2022, Deirdre has launched a successful startup that has developed APIs for developers adding debt repayment functions to applications. Rightfoot has a higher goal for its ability to provide financial services with real-time information and analysis–to address consumer debt inequities for underrepresented communities. Deirdre also advises the startup accelerator StartX where she guides more than a dozen early-stage companies.
Ravit Dotan, Founder and CEO, TechBetter
Ravit’s work on AI ethics started when she worked on her Ph.D. in philosophy when she began questioning the objectivity of machine learning. She contributed to a work that the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (Facct) named the “Distinguished Paper” for 2022 titled “The Values Encoded in Machine Learning Research.” Now she works with organizations to help them create frameworks and practices around ethical AI, and most importantly, how to integrate those into their business models.
Chip Huyen, Co-founder, Claypot, Inc.
Claypot AI is a platform for real-time machine learning. As a co-founder of the startup and co-creator of the platform, she contributed her expertise in streaming data, low-latency applications, data science, and AI. She had previously built machine learning tools at NVIDIA, Snorkel AI, and Netflix. Chip is the author of “Designing Machine Learning Systems” (O’Reilly, June 2022), an Amazon #1 bestseller in AI. In this book, she shares her experience creating online prediction applications and the continual learning cycles that are vital for keeping models up-to-date.
Anjali Joshi, Director on multiple boards, Executive in Residence, Alteryx and INSEAD
Anjali Joshi currently serves on the boards of Xero, a provider of cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, Alteryx, a provider of automated analytics solutions, and Loconav, a Sequoia-funded private company in the fleet management space. Her engineering and product management background in search, image search, maps, news, health, broadband services, and language technologies has earned her a seat on these and past boards.
As an Executive in Residence at the INSEAD business school in France and collaborator at the Stanford MS&E department, she works with faculty and students on projects related to technology and society. Anjali is also on the Advisory Board of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and speaks internationally on the ethical use of AI.
Mubassira Khan, Sr. Scientist, US Dept. of Transportation
Before joining the Transportation Department and its Center of Excellence for Highly Automated Systems Safety, Mubarissa worked at General Motors (GM) as a senior data scientist and project manager. She contributed to the Automated Driving Mapping software and Zero Emission Utility Service product as a senior AI/ML scientist, and served as product manager for the infotainment application analytics product. With her team, she earned 10 records of inventions for GM patents and trade secrets and has been recognized as one of GM’s leading inventors. She currently works for the U.S. Department of Transportation in its Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence.
Linda Leopold, Head of Responsible AI & Data, H&M Group
Linda has earned recognition for her focus on using AI to make H&M, and the fashion industry as a whole more sustainable. A leader in the “AI for good” movement, she has introduced an Ethical AI Debate Club at H&M as a way to get more employees thinking about the issues around AI. UNICEF wrote a very positive case study of H&M’s careful use of AI. It recommended that H&M pay special attention to children in its ethical AI framework, a critical dimension that Linda and her team have added. Linda believes that her background in journalism has helped her bring a different perspective on technology, especially AI. Read more about her in this Forbes interview.
Laura Miller, Founder, NextGen Ethics
Laura’s engagement with AI ethics spans government, business, and academia. A recognized AI ethicist and expert on designing and implementing governance frameworks, Laura Miller is a NASA IDEA specialist and serves as a panelist defining inclusion plans, including both actionable steps and quantifiable metrics to validate success. Laura also advises the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and teaches ethics in the philosophy program at Webster University.
Mira Murati, CTO, OpenAI
Mira Murati’s ascent to being the CTO at one of the industry’s most-watched companies started with a childhood passion for mathematics and moved to physics, aerospace, a stint at Tesla and an augmented reality startup Leap Motion. At OpenAI she leads the work on ChatGPT, Dall-E, and Codex while leading the research, product, and safety teams. The responsible development and use of AI is a dominant theme in her work. She has explained the efforts to reduce harmful bias in DALL-E by adjusting the ratio of female and male images in the training data and eliminating overtly sexualized images. As she summarized, “You have to constantly audit.”
Danielle Pensack, Co-founder and CEO, Rightfoot
Danielle is an advocate for real-time data and urges companies to stop making important decisions with stale data. At IBM she worked on their Banking API strategy, helping to deliver complex projects in international settings. Rightfoot brings real-time functionality to a customer’s technology stack who then can bring streamlined debt management and repayment capabilities directly into their user experience. Danielle and her co-founder Deirdre Clute saw the greatest need in student-loan repayment and created Rightfoot to address this problem which is a barrier to building wealth. Rightfoot has grown into other financial services institutions.
Zuzanna Stamirowska, Co-founder and CEO, Pathway
When Pathway was still an early-stage startup in 2021, Zusanna was one of 50 deep-tech startups that received targeted funding and coaching from the EU through Women TechEU pilot program funded under the European Innovation Ecosystems program of Horizon Europe. Her real-time analytics company, Pathway, reduces data pipeline complexity and integrates privacy into LLMs with a single engine that supports batch, streaming, and LLM architectures supporting one syntax for working with all three.
Diane Strutner, Co-founder and CEO, Datazoom
With a background in various aspects of media, Diane realized that the industry was not using data to its fullest potential, relying often on stale data or incomplete data to make strategic decisions, including program funding and investments. Her data-as-a-service platform, Datazoom addresses that issue by providing data on streaming end-points in real-time so that decisions could be based on actual viewership and not on extrapolations. Diane is active in the American and Spanish startup scenes and is a founding board member of Women in Streaming Media.
Bosmat Tuvel, Director of Product Management, Speedb
At Speedb, Bosmet works on its product aimed at simplifying the usability of complex data engines with a focus on stabilizing performance and making it more predictable. She has spent the last 15 years in the storage and data space. At IBM she worked on real-time compression and worked on high-performance infrastructure at Dell as a software engineer. Now at Speedb she applies her experience with solving latency issues around data access for very large and complex workloads.
Sharon Xie, Founding Engineer, Decodable
Sharon leads the data platform development at Decodable, which supports stream processing and data transformation tasks. She has been building and operating streaming data platforms for over 6 years with extensive experience in open-source software, namely Apache Kafka, Apache Flink and Debezium. Before Decodable, she was a tech lead of the real-time data platform at Splunk focusing on the streaming query language and developer SDKs. She is a believer in automation, having implemented it to save time and improve consistency in her own development environment.