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Dr. Foteini Agrafioti, Honorary Chair Canada: Championing AI Innovation



We had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Foteini Agrafioti, a leading figure in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada and a vigorous promoter of science into products and solving meaningful problems. Her team is dedicated to ethical AI and we go a long way to ensure that they are building AI in a responsible way. Dr. Agrafioti currently leads Borealis AI, an institute for research in Machine Learning affiliated with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Her journey into the world of AI began during her PhD studies at the University of Toronto, where she developed a passion for the field that has guided her ever since.


Borealis AI is a world-class center for Machine Learning and she gets to work with some of Canada’s most prominent science and engineering leaders in AI. Some of the main products include Aiden, an electronic trading platform that uses reinforcement learning in the equities market and NOMI, a personal financial assistant for RBC’s clients.


Dr. Agrafioti's enthusiasm relies on the integration of science and real-world applications., solving meaningful problems, and ensuring ethical AI development for society.


Becoming the Honorary Chair Canada for Women in AI

I am honored to be Honorary Chair Canada for Women in AI this year. This is an

important community that I have been following and supporting for a long time and I am excited to be serving in this position. Said Dr. Agrafioti.


Dr. Agrafioti carries a vision of a more inclusive AI community. She strongly believes the underrepresentation of women in technology, particularly in Artificial Intelligence, is a critical issue. The potential biases in AI products and their resulting significant social impact highlight the importance of initiatives such as Women in AI. Dr. Agrafioti firmly holds the belief that creating more equitable teams starts with empowering and educating young women.



Building an inclusive present for AI that benefits women or minorities who are underrepresented in the industry

As a woman in the tech field, Dr. Agrafioti has observed the evolving role of women in Artificial Intelligence. In spite of progress, the challenges persist: less than 25% of AI specialists are women. To build a more inclusive AI industry, she emphasizes the need to remove barriers and biases that hinder young girls from pursuing computer science and related fields. Providing opportunities and empowering emerging female leaders are key to achieving gender balance.


As complicated as a matter as this is, I think the answer is simple. If we genuinely aspire to better representation of women in AI and tech more broadly, all we have to do is get out of their way! Said Dr. Agrafioti.



Honoring Women in Artificial Intelligence across North America

Dr. Agrafioti appreciates the power of recognition and visibility for women in the field of artificial intelligence. Celebrating and honoring women's achievements in Awards like those presented by Women in AI play a crucial role in motivating women to envision themselves in leadership roles within AI, ultimately encouraging more women to pursue careers in the field.


Also Dr. Agrafioti mentioned she was always inspired by other women (engineers or entrepreneurs) that were senior to her. Their presence alone helped her see herself in their shoes someday.



Dr. Agrafioti's Initiatives for the future of Women in Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Agrafioti is committed to leading organizations based on principles of equity, respect and appreciation for diversity. She believes this is a prerequisite for any good work to take place. She will continue to contribute hand in hand with Borealis AI in the present and for the foreseeable future, as she is confident in her knowledge and approach on how to build AI systems ethically and publicly through its Respect AI platform.



Advice to Emerging Professionals in Artificial Intelligence and Tech field

Reflecting on her journey, Dr. Agrafioti offers advice to emerging professionals: "Don't let distractions deter you—stay focused!"


Dr. Foteini Agrafioti's dedication to promoting diversity and innovation in AI exemplifies the spirit celebrated by Women in AI. Her leadership and vision are instrumental in driving change and fostering inclusivity within the AI industry.


We’d like to sincerely thank Dr. Foteini Agrafioti for her initiatives, work and contributions to the AI community in Canada.

Join us in celebrating Dr. Foteini Agrafioti and other remarkable women in AI at the Women in AI Awards North America 2023. Don't miss out on this incredible celebration hand in hand with Women in AI USA, Women in AI Canada, and Women in AI Mexico!






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