Saudi Arabia has been seeing the emergence of young female leaders, and with this month being dedicated to international women and mothers, it gives us the opportunity to highlight women with impressive achievements in the Kingdom.
Dr. Fatmah Boathman is the first Saudi woman in the Middle East with a PhD in Modern Artificial Intelligence (AI), thus embodying women’s empowerment in the Kingdom and proving the capabilities of women in any field.
She developed her fascination in AI back when she was still a student at the University of Arizona studying the English language, when she was greeted with several computer systems that assisted and helped non-native English speakers.
“I was fascinated by the level of machine communication and interaction,” Dr Baothman explained. “Once I started studying programing and understanding more about the Turing Test, which is a test that’s been designed to test the intelligence of machines, I became fascinated.”
Boathman graduated in 2003 from the School of Computing and Engineering at the University of Huddesfield in the UK, where she received her Phd in “Phonology-Based Automatic Speech Recognition for Arabic.” Her work mainly focused on AI and she was introduced to pattern recognition, forecasting, phonology, phonetics, acoustics, machine learning and mathematics.
This sort of work is what can be used in order to enable humans to connect via speech to machines, as well as machines to machines, thus raising the level of intelligence in robotics.
“We worked with a robot and we were able to increase its intelligence from four to seven years,” she exclaimed. “Speech is a very important tool in different applications that could be used in smart cities, smart cars and smartphones — it’s about connecting machines and people, and machines to machines, even if they don’t speak our language, they find a way of communicating in which they can interact with each other.”
“I spent hours trying to figure out how it worked,” she said. “Once I started studying it, I started realizing and building an emotional interest towards the topic. I always had a wish to be a part of the AI community and contribute to such an important discipline.” She added; explaining her interest in machine communication.
Boatham aims at tackling several and different fields through AI, taking economy for instance, she hopes to bring develop solutions for fluctuation issues such as poverty. “I believe that, very soon, AI will play an important role in that,” she noted. “I’m interested in it and I’ve already started forming a group to work on it.”
Boatham started off his career as an advisor for MMG ‘MedLab Media Group’, a startup that focuses on improving clinical practice. And she has also worked as an assistant teacher at the King Abdulaziz University for more than 25 years, in the faculty of computing and IT. Which made also marked her as the first woman to be appointed TA in the university’s computer science department for women.
“It makes me feel very excited to be the first woman with a PhD in Modern AI. We are planning to establish an AI lab in Jeddah very soon to work in blockchain technology, AI projects and other areas, directed towards healthcare.” She added.
Saudi Rania Nashar Makes it to Forbes’ List of The World’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women”
The Kingdom’s own Rania Nashar has made it to Forbes’ annual list of “The World’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women” and we can’t help but feel so much pride!
Nashar was ranked the 99th in the list that includes prominent names such as Angela Merkel, Kamaala Harris, Melinda Gates, Rihanna, & many other global female trailblazers.
Nashar is the first female to hold the position of CEO CEO of Saudi commercial bank, Samba Financial Group. She also made it to this ranking through her tremendous efforts in implementing changes that empower women of Saudi Arabia, all of which comes as part of the 2030 Vision.
Nashar has exceeded 20 years of experience in the field of commercial banking and has been inspiring young Saudi women to take on the challenge as well and break the glass ceiling and for that, we congratulate her.
This Saudi Landmark Just Won a Prestigious Award for Its Innovative Architectural Design
The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has received the American Concrete Institute (ACI) award for concrete construction excellence.
The building, which is designed by Zahra Hadid Architects (ZHA), is one of the most well-known landmarks in Riyadh. It’s known for its unique architectural design.
The structure features an hexagonal honeycomb structure which stands out with hexagonal cell openings providing shade from the harsh sun. “ZHA projects have always been unique and creative in an unprecedented, nontraditional way. There’s no other structure like it in the entire world,” Saudi architect Mokhtar Al Shoaibi told Arab News.
The building is made of extremely complex steel, said Saudi architect Mukhtar Al-Shoaibi.
Women’s Participation Rise 120% in Saudi Industries
Women of Saudi Arabia are claiming their rightful role in private and government sectors, as these sectors strive to hire qualified women in different fields.
According to the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technical Zones (MODON), the number of Saudi women taking part in the industrial cities it oversees has seen a significant increase by around120 percent, bringing the total number of female workers 17,000 by the end of March this year.
Khalid Al-Salem, director general of MODON, said that the authority “has come a long way” and still aims at encouraging the female participation in the industrial sector.
“These oases host clean industries such as medical and food industries, rubber and high-tech industries, as well as prefabricated factories supporting women entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises,” he said.
He said: “MODON seeks to support the productivity of women by providing an optimal environment for their work. Therefore, it signed a memorandum of understanding with a building development company to implement nursery and kindergarten programs in industrial cities and oases under the Ministry of Education’s guidance.” He added.
This strategy of activating the role of women in industrial development goes along with the Saudi Vision of 2020 that aim at enhancing women’s role in the Kingdom’s economy.