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Interview with Fouzia, Runner-up of the WAI Ambassador of the Year 2022 Award by Anne-Katrin Neyer

Anne-Katrin: Fouzia, you are the WAI Country Lead Ambassador Algeria and one of the four

Runners-Up of the WAI Ambassador of the Year 2022 Award. Congratulations! Can you tell

us in a few words why you decided to get involved as a WAI Ambassador?

Fouzia: - Much has been said and I am sure more will follow about my becoming the Country Lead ambassador to serve Algeria. I am humbled by those words and very grateful for my supervisor who introduced me to WIA and made this happen. The reason why I joined WIA is that I feel responsible to inspire more women to join the Tech and AI field and make our community even better. I love the energy in our Women in AI meetings, this is not only an amazing place to stay connected with other women in the industry but also a great

opportunity for me to learn and grow.

Anne-Katrin: Building a community of volunteers is certainly fraught with challenges every

now and then. Do you have any “community building hacks” you would like to share with us

so that we can learn from your way of doing things?

Fouzia: - I would say the most challenging part about building a community of volunteers is

getting the word out there that you are welcoming volunteers. You may think it's easy now since you have a website and social media accounts, but when no one is contacting you it can get discouraging. However, I always make sure that all the people in your community feel included and contribute to it. It's important to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is able to contribute or help for a number of reasons: some may be busy or overwhelmed by other obligations, some may need extra support so they have time to be online, and others may simply have different interests but still want to connect with others in a certain group. I personally find it easier and more gratifying to offer them support, rather than making demands.

Anne-Katrin: Given that you are a very inspirational person and role model, I am pretty sure

that you are often asked to give advice. Hence (smile): What is your most important advice

for women aiming at engaging in data and AI?

Fouzia: It's going be a tough and difficult road before we reach the next level, but I believe

AI is not something impossible to reach to if we wouldn't give up at the very beginning and

continue our walk step by step, I believe that there will be many more bright girls follow our

steps, and you are one of them, I look up for your greatness.

Anne-Katrin: And last but not least, why have you decided to engage in the work with data

and AI? How would you end this sentence: For me the work with data and AI means…

Fouzia: - For me the work with data and AI means a great opportunity to be part of one of

the most important areas in today's world. AI is going to deeply impact the economy, it will change our lives as much as the Internet did. I hope that I will be able to use my knowledge and skills for good for humans, and for humanity. Data and AI is a way to help people see the world objectively, break down walls and increase connections around the globe. Data is infinite and predictable while biology is finite -- so naturally it's incredibly powerful. At the end of my career, I hope to have positively impacted a billion-plus lives.

Thank you so much, Fouzia, for your engagement for WAI!

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