On the evening of 27 January 2020, Women in AI (WAI) in partnership with Women in Tech will be co-hosting the Grand Opening 2020 Gala event – “The Magic of ARTificial Intelligence”.

The event takes place in the historic Council Chamber of Amsterdam’s former city hall where the royal wedding of Queen Beatrix was held in 1966, and which is now part of the hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.

Empowering women – and AI

Formulated to celebrate the impact and achievements of women in the fields of AI and tech, the event will also look forward to a new decade that “will bring better possibilities for achieving an inclusive and non-biased world.”

Originally from Russia, Eve Logunova (36) comes backed by an international career pushing through innovations in cloud computing and FinTech – while working for both startups and corporates such as IBM. Currently, she is Women in AI’s ambassador for the Netherlands – a role she seems born for.

WAI describes itself as a “non-profit do-tank working towards gender-inclusive AI that benefits global society”. As a community-driven initiative bringing empowerment, knowledge and active collaboration to the field, WAI works across 100 countries with 28 ambassadors and over 3000 members. 

Eve Logunova Women in AI
Eve Logunova

Cleaning the data sets of discrimination

“For me, AI is nothing new,” says Logunova. “But the empowerment of women in AI is new. It’s also essential. Here is a technology meant to automate processes and make our lives easier, but we must make sure we are not excluding people.”  

“Right now, the field has mostly been the domain of white western men. That’s why algorithms suggest white western men when it comes to senior jobs. That’s why police cameras pick out people based on the colour of their skin. That’s why we need to clean the existing data sets and code algorithms that are non-discriminatory.”

70/30 by 2021

Gala attendees will be updated on the progress being made in bridging the gender gap in the industry, and the 2020 vision for ensuring better diversity and inclusion in the Netherlands.

Logunova wants WAI to help push through change – and fast. “We’ve already come far. But currently, the Netherlands’ startup field is still highly imbalanced: 83% of founders are male. Of course, fifty-fifty is the end goal. However, by the end of this 2020, we hope to already make the proportion seventy-thirty.”

Women in AI

Influencers and role models for change

Part of the process behind achieving this goal involves harnessing the power of positive role models. “For the event in particular, people will be able to connect and reconnect with AI and tech influencers, experts, decision-makers, entrepreneurs and positive change agents,” says Logunova.

The guest list is certainly impressive, with confirmed guests including DSM global business director Sofie Cammers, head of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the United Nations, Irakli Beridze, and US Consul General Jennifer DeWitt Walsh.

In short, Logunova promises “the most stylish and AI-empowered gala that you have ever been to”. The event will also feature the work of various artists who have produced work with the help of AI, computer vision and/or Internet of Things.

Concrete actions for 2020

A key Women in AI programme for the new year will be the WaiACCELERATE, the first full-cycle ethical and efficient leadership empowerment and business acceleration programme aimed at women innovators. “We want to help create results. It’s not only about boosting confidence but also about providing funding,” says Logunova. “We want to provide the backing so people can take action.”

“But right now, our focus is on the gala. This has been our dream for a year. It’s time to celebrate.”

Book tickets for this very special event.