In the Spotlight - Meet Bettina Wittmann

At Women in AI we’d like to inspire others by featuring female role models that are making a difference in AI. We aim to empower women who are working in AI by highlighting their success stories. This way we hope to inspire other women and girls to get into STEM-related fields. In our series ‘In the Spotlight’ we shine a light on an expert in the field and today we’d like you to meet Bettina Wittmann.

Women in AI - Bettina Wittmann in the Spotlight

Who is Bettina Wittmann?

In 2022 nominated as LEA (Let’s Empower Austria) role model Bettina has carried this honor across borders, dividing her time between her homeland Austria and the Netherlands. As a preeminent strategist in digital marketing she aims to shape the minds of the next generation of AI leaders through her groundbreaking course: ‘Revolutionizing Digital Marketing Techniques with AI & Smart Tools.’ She is driven to bring knowledge to all, and adds: “My teachings not only empower students but also equip agencies and clients with AI-driven strategies.”

Responsible AI is not an afterthought

Bettina holds a prestigious faculty position where she imparts the future’s foundational building blocks to a select international student body. But her course definitely goes beyond academia. “It’s a breeding ground for future AI leaders in Europe, by equipping them with not just knowledge but also ethical frameworks.” Her teachings extend to public workshops, infusing responsible AI practices into the European business ecosystem. She aims for her courses to be more than mere instruction; she wants them to be lifelines for businesses and individuals to help them sail responsibly in digital landscapes. “I am not just a participant but an architect of this digital transformation.” -Bettina explains. She wants to make sure that responsible AI is not an afterthought, but a starting point in technological advancements for students, clients, and companies alike. And at Women in AI, we can only encourage the practice of responsible AI.


A cross-border approach to impact AI culture

“I’m eager to build a legacy in responsible AI applications, both in my native Austria and my second home, the Netherlands.” Bettina would love to be known as a visionary woman leader bridging countries and cultures. Being named the Let’s Empower Austria (LEA) role model by the Austrian government, she is already a sought-after business strategist and digital marketing maven. As an award-winning digital strategist and educational luminary, she holds a coveted faculty position that allows her to teach a rigorously selected international student body. Bridging these two nations, she seamlessly integrates ethical AI applications into the core curriculum of her course. “My pedagogy is more than academic; it’s transformational.” Her teachings equips the next generation of leaders with the tools and ethical framework to harness AI responsibly. “It’s about empowering students to not just become consumers, but the responsible architects of AI technology.” As a value-driven business consultant, her methodologies are eagerly adopted by corporations. This helps to place ethical AI into the crucible of daily operations.

Being Austrian, working in the Netherlands, is a nice addition to what she wants to bring to the world: “My cross-border influence significantly impacts the AI culture in the Netherlands, creating a ripple effect of responsible practice that permeates throughout Europe.” She strongly believes that her work in the academic and corporate spheres transcends borders and prepares humanity for a responsible digital future. “By melding Austrian ingenuity with Dutch pragmatism, I stand as a monumental figure in responsible AI leadership, setting an international standard that others strive to emulate.”

Putting responsible AI into practice

As a role model, Bettina wants to do good through technology and practice it responsibly. “As a woman leader, innovator, and visionary in the realm of business, my mission is very much a twofold.” How do you balance being innovative and putting it into practice, responsibly? She has some tips:

Improve your work-life balance by developing workflows that make work more efficient. “I aim to improve the work-life balance for clients, employees, students, and leaders alike.” In her opinion, this is not a zero-sum game; the goal is for technology not to steal jobs, but to reduce manual, time-consuming tasks. “This way people can focus on creative and intellectually stimulating work.” Another tip she would like to give is to create real-life business applications by engaging with others. As an example, Bettina adds: “I engage students in hands-on projects with actual businesses. These partnerships not only provide invaluable experience for the students but also help companies become aware and more efficient and responsible in their AI applications.” She also aims to use those methods within her daily life and businesses.


"The participation of women ensures that technology benefits not just a particular group but aims for the greater good of all.”

Engaging with others is all about community and sharing knowledge. If you understand the broader impact of AI, educating about abusive concepts and technologies is a must. This is the only way to ensure the benefits of AI are inclusive and equitable for all. “By marrying technical innovation with a commitment to ethical responsibility, I strive to advance AI in a manner that is not only groundbreaking but also conscientious.” When it comes to ethical and responsible AI, she emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in technology. “This means scrutinizing data for bias, being transparent about algorithmic decisions, and educating the community about the potential for abuse in AI technologies.” 

But above all, it is all about doing, while making sure you are doing the right thing. Bettina is often approached by people that want to join her courses and she believes being a hands-on, honest practitioner really helps: “My courses are designed to be as practical as they are enlightening, offering first hand exposure to the latest concepts and technologies in responsible AI.”

A unique approach to teaching

Her University course ‘Revolutionize Digital Marketing Techniques with AI & Smart Tools: Convert Customers to Raving Fans’ just won an award in June this year. By winning The Innovative Teaching Award it helps to recognize her innovative teaching designs that incorporate new ideas and approaches in university teaching and learning. “One of the aspects is that I’m not only teaching about AI but also using AI as a co-teacher and how I approach peer learning. We transform the classroom into a digital marketing agency where each student assumes a specific role, from project management to AI consultant.” This approach promotes peer-learning through direct collaboration in real project environments, providing in-depth, practical insights into digital marketing and AI technologies. This not only enhances students’ expertise but also fosters essential soft skills like communication and teamwork. Uniquely, it remains relevant across semesters and for graduates, offering continuous access to updated content linked to WU Vienna. What’s very useful is that the course adapts to individual student needs based on initial surveys, addressing their experience levels and specific interests in AI and digital marketing. This personalized approach increases satisfaction with the educational institution, allowing students to utilize relevant knowledge and expand their expertise appropriately. The use of teaching aids enables an individualized learning experience, ensuring that experienced students are not bored and beginners are not overwhelmed.  That way everyone that wants to learn is addressed to their personal needs!

Encouraging women to work in AI

For those who are aspiring to be working with or in the AI field, you surely must be able to embrace the technology. For Bettina this also means looking at it as something that serves as a powerful amplifier for human potential. “I firmly believe that ethical AI has the capability to bring about transformative positive change, akin to the impact of industrialization.” There are a few additional things Bettina thinks aspiring young female professionals need to keep in mind. Because, if we want to unlock AI’s full potential it needs the unique perspective of a woman: “As a woman, you possess an innate ability to care for humanity’s well-being, which is ingrained in your emotional and evolutionary DNA. This naturally positions you as a leader in the realm of ethical AI.”

It is known that the technology sector, including AI, has largely been male-dominated throughout history. So as a woman in the industry, Bettina acknowledges that it offers a balanced and inclusive viewpoint that is urgently needed. “The participation of women ensures that technology benefits not just a particular group but aims for the greater good of all.” As an example, she emphasizes how crash test dummies were traditionally designed with only men in mind. A focus that is only now beginning to shift. But also the way that products and lifestyles often disregarded the unique needs of women. “The role of women in the AI revolution allows them to influence how AI is developed and applied.” This inclusivity is not just ethically right, but is also beneficial for business.


The right tools to make your mark

When it comes to excelling in this field, Bettina says to consider both the creation and usage of AI tools and products. “For those engaged in AI development, a good foundation in mathematics, programming, and data analysis is key.” But for users of AI tools, Bettina is convinced that a basic understanding of the underlying technology will do. “This helps them to more effectively leverage these solutions.” As AI is rapidly changing, it often presents its unique challenges. “Problem-solving abilities and adaptability are essential for designing or using AI-based tools to solve business or technical issues.” This, combined with ethical and social awareness, can help when working with AI. “Both being aware of ethical considerations and keeping the potential societal impacts of AI in mind helps to ensure data privacy, avoiding biases, and striving for fairness and inclusivity.”


But in the end, it is all about taking matters into your own hands: “Don’t wait for others to shape your future. Take the initiative to create AI solutions that serve everyone, including women. Your voice is more crucial now than ever before. If you miss this opportunity, you might find yourself trying to rectify a world that was shaped without your valuable input.” Hopefully, sharing stories like Bettina’s can help motivate others to make their mark when it comes to the future developments of AI.

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