The Importance of Diversity in the Tech Community

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Janeen Uzzell, Former Head of Women in Technology at GE, from the Amazon Alexa VOICE Summit at NJIT, to talk about the importance of diversity within the tech community.

9/28/18 #2170






"Hi, this is Steve Adubato coming to you from the campus of NJIT - that's the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Why are we here? This is, in fact, the Voice Summit, sponsored by Amazon Alexa. You've got about 2,500 folks from all over the country, programmers, people involved in something called artificial intelligence, all about voice. What does voice mean in our lives today? What could, and what will, voice mean in our lives tomorrow? That's what the people are here talking about at NJIT, at this Voice Summit. We'll be interviewing those folks and bringing everything you've ever wanted and needed to know about voice to you right now. Janeen Uzzell, she is a former head of Women in Technology at GE, and currently emerging market and tech consultant. You've had a fascinating career. Born and raised at the Beth? Beth Israel? At the Beth, in Jersey. And then we lost you. You too? Where did you go... oh no. No, no another hospital... Well, that's alright. Jersey. On the other end of the city. It's okay. Okay, where did you go after that? Still Jersey Shore. So, I grew up in Plainfield... It's a good town. Went to Mount St. Mary's... I went to Essex Catholic. Okay, see? My high school doesn't even exist anymore. Mine still does. Okay, good. So, we did the Mount and then I left the Mount and went to North Carolina A&T for undergrad, studied engineering. But I've not lived in New Jersey in quite a while. My family's still here, but it's been a long time. You know, one of the things you were just telling me before we got on the air, which I want to share with our audience, the whole question of artificial intelligence, and it's connection to, quote-unquote, "diversity"? Yep. Like, so artificial intelligence, you would... in layperson’s language, you would define it as? So, ultimately, it's technology that we are designing to really solve a ton of our... tons of problems, all kinds of tasks that we're doing. But the message that I talk about, as I'm not a coder, I haven't programmed in many years, what I'm focused on is that the technology is subject to the software. The software is subject to... People come here sooner or later. ...the person that's sitting there programming it. And if you want to have a full user experience and really touch the global world that we know, that's going to be the end users of this technology. We've got to have diversity across the board with who's programming... Hmm. ... diversity and our teams who are designing the products, we've just got to make sure that we have an audience, or..."