“Professor Sarah Kreps: Empowering Women in the Field of Artificial Intelligence”

Sarah Kreps is a political scientist, U.S. Air Force veteran and analyst who focuses on U.S. foreign and defense policy. She’s a professor of government at Cornell University, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School and an adjunct scholar at West Point’s Modern War Institute. Kreps’ recent research explores both the potential and risks of AI tech such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, specifically in the political sphere. In an opinion column for The Guardian last year, she wrote that, as more money pours into AI, the AI arms race not just across companies but countries will intensify — while the AI policy challenge will become harder. Developing AI in these publicly interested way seemed like a valuable contribution and interesting interdisciplinary work for political scientists and computer scientists.

To showcase and celebrate the groundbreaking contributions of female academics and professionals in the AI industry, TechCrunch introduces a series of interviews focusing on the inspirational women shaping the AI revolution. As the AI boom continues to thrive, we will feature several profiles throughout the year, shining a spotlight on the remarkable work that often goes unrecognized. To read more profiles, click here.

Sarah Kreps: A Political Scientist and AI Analyst

Meet Sarah Kreps, a political scientist, U.S. Air Force veteran and prominent analyst in the field of U.S. foreign and defense policy. Currently a professor of government at Cornell University, Kreps also serves as an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School and an adjunct scholar at West Point’s Modern War Institute.

Kreps’ recent research delves into the potential and risks associated with AI technology, specifically focusing on OpenAI’s highly anticipated GPT-4. In a thought-provoking opinion column for The Guardian, she highlights the growing trend of countries investing more in AI, sparking an “AI arms race” among nations and presenting new challenges in terms of AI policy.

An Exclusive Q&A with Sarah Kreps

To gain a deeper understanding of Kreps’ journey in the AI field and her valuable insights, we asked her a few questions in an exclusive Q&A session:

  • How did you first get involved in the field of AI and what initially drew you to it?

  • “As a Ph.D. candidate, my research focused on emerging technologies and their implications for national security. Having served as an Air Force officer during the deployment of Predator drones, I was naturally drawn to studying the impact of these advanced technologies on national security. As the debate shifted towards questions of autonomy and the role of artificial intelligence, I became more and more interested in exploring this intersection.”

  • What work or achievement in the AI industry are you most proud of?

  • “I am particularly proud of the field experiment I conducted, which was the first of its kind. It revealed the disruptive potential of AI in a legislative agenda context and sparked important discussions about the intersection of AI and democracy. Additionally, I am proud of the numerous interdisciplinary collaborations I have been a part of and the diverse perspectives that have enriched my understanding of AI.”

  • As a woman in a male-dominated industry, how do you navigate the challenges that come with it?

  • “Personally, I have not faced many challenges as a researcher in the AI industry. However, I am aware of the systemic barriers faced by women in the tech world. My advice to women pursuing a career in AI would be to develop their skills, have confidence in their abilities, and take on challenges with resilience. I also encourage connecting with mentors, both male and female, who can provide guidance and support.”

  • What advice would you give to women looking to enter the AI field?

  • “I believe there are countless opportunities for women in the AI industry. My advice would be to focus on developing their skills and having confidence in their abilities. The future of AI will require diverse perspectives and women have a crucial role to play in shaping it.”

  • In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the development and progress of AI?

  • “One of the key challenges is the tendency to focus on the technical aspects of AI without fully considering the ethical implications and societal impact. Furthermore, there needs to be a greater understanding and awareness of the values that are being ingrained into AI systems, and how they shape our views and perceptions. These issues, while not of the “existential risk” variety, are crucial to creating a responsible and effective AI.”

  • What are some important factors for AI users to consider while utilizing AI?

  • “As AI becomes more prominent in our daily lives, it is important for users to adopt a “trust but verify” approach. It is essential to verify the authenticity of AI-generated content rather than blindly trusting it. This is especially important when it comes to sensitive topics or information, where misleading or biased AI outputs can have significant consequences.”

  • How can AI be developed and utilized in a responsible and ethical manner?

  • “I recently published a piece outlining a set of steps for responsible AI development in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. One of the key factors is considering the values and principles that AI systems are being aligned with. It is crucial to involve diverse perspectives and actively address ethical considerations throughout the development process. AI developers must also be accountable for the impact their creations have on society.”

  • What sets your work apart in the AI industry and what are your future goals in this field?

  • “As a political scientist, my research focuses on the intersection of AI and governance. I am particularly interested in exploring the impact of AI on democracy and national security. My future goals involve further collaborations and interdisciplinary research to gain a better understanding of the ethical implications and societal impact of AI.”

Remember to keep checking TechCrunch for more incredible interviews with inspiring women making their mark on the AI revolution!

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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