An empowering collaboration: Netherlands AI Coalition partners with Women in AI

In a recent interview with Miriam Veronesi we shared profound insights about the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the collaborative efforts between the Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC) and Women in AI. As a Chair of Start-ups and Scale-ups for the NL AIC and a leading figure at TNO focusing on the societal, economic and ethical aspects of AI, she has been in the forefront of innovation in tech for many years.

With a rich background in IT, including a tenure as CEO of a software development agency pioneering innovative solutions for customer service as early as 2016, Miriam Veronesi brings a wealth of experience to her current role. Her journey reflects a lifelong dedication to leveraging technology for positive change.

AI innovation needs collaboration

At NL AIC, Miriam spearheads initiatives across various domains and working groups, facilitating connections, organizing matchmaking events, and fostering collaboration within the AI ecosystem. “We try to get our community together, there where the interesting events are. Make sure the right people are present where they should be present.” From engaging with innovative startups to navigating complex regulatory landscapes, the NL AIC serves as a catalyst for AI-driven innovation. They are conntected to the European AI Startup Landscape, so they are able to get together the right investors with the best startups. “And also try not to re-invent the wheel all the time”.

Next to informing startups about events, actively involving them in panels and presentations, the group often organizes topic related events. This is based on the topics startups are interested in. “For instance the AI Act, this will have an impact on every AI startup. What parts are important, to what does a startup need to comply with?” An amazing opportunity for startups to gain insights and make sure they get the right tools to work in this ever changing landscape of rules and regulations. Very useful, since these startups usually don’t have the resources to do that.

A disrupting technology

Reflecting on the transformative potential of AI, Miriam draws parallels with the advent of the World Wide Web, emphasizing the far-reaching impact of disruptive technologies. “I think it’s the second time in my life I am witnessing such a big disruptive technology.” Unlike previous innovations like blockchain, AI represents not just a technological advancement but a fundamental shift. “It has an effect on many segments, if not all, of society.”

Veronesi highlights the disparity between technological progress and regulatory frameworks, citing examples of groundbreaking AI applications constrained by outdated regulations. She emphasizes the need for proactive regulatory measures and educational reforms to bridge this gap and harness AI’s full potential. “It is important for these skills to be learned, so we can benefit from this technology in a different way.” So true, since a curriculum takes over 4 years to change. So how do you keep up with educating about technology? This is an important part of the Women in AI activate program to make sure we are motivating and educating the younger generation.

“We shouldn’t bring women for the sake of it, it is important to do so because they bring value.”

Diversity drives innovation

Addressing the gender gap in the tech industry, Miriam advocates for inclusivity and diversity, underscoring the value of diverse perspectives in driving innovation. With Women in AI, she sees an opportunity to empower women in tech even more. “I have always tried to push women in tech, but I think we should push that more.” She believes in fostering a more inclusive environment, where diverse voices are heard. “We shouldn’t bring women for the sake of it, it is important to do so because they bring value.”

Miriam’s vision aligns closely with the mission of Women in AI, as she emphasizes the importance of community-building and support networks for women in the field. She expresses her commitment to championing diversity and looks forward to collaborating with Women in AI to drive positive change in the industry.

As the NL AIC and Women in AI join forces, our partnership holds the promise of advancing AI-driven innovation, fostering diversity, and creating a more inclusive future for the tech industry. By leveraging our respective strengths and resources, the NL AIC and Women in AI are poised to make significant strides in shaping the future of AI and driving positive societal impact. Together, we exemplify the power of collaboration in driving meaningful change in the tech landscape.

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