Dr. Nuria Oliver wins the VentureBeat AI Research Award

August 6, 2021

Dr. Nuria Oliver wins VentureBeat’s AI Research Award!

This award honors those who have made a significant impact in an area of research in AI, helping accelerate progress either within their organization, as part of academic research, or impacting AI approaches in technology in general.

Meet the AI Research Pioneer who wants to redefine progress

Article written by Sage Lazzaro @sagelazzaro Aug 6th, 20201 for VentureBeat

Women in the AI field are making research breakthroughs, spearheading vital ethical discussions, and inspiring the next generation of AI professionals. We created the VentureBeat Women in AI Awards to emphasize the importance of their voices, work, and experience and to shine a light on some of these leaders. In this series, publishing Fridays, we’re diving deeper into conversations with this year’s winners, whom we honored recently at Transform 2021. Check out last week’s interview with a winner of our AI responsibility and ethics award.

Think of an AI technology, and Dr. Nuria Oliver was likely working on it decades ago when it still felt like science fiction. Her research and inventions have ignited advancements across the industry and now drive many of the products and services we use every day.

But while Oliver, the winner of our AI Research Award, has published more than 150 scientific papers and earned 41 patents, she doesn’t believe in technological advancement for the sake of it. Above all, she is today focused on responsible AI and “developing technology that’s on our side, that really has our interests and our well-being as the main objective function.”

“To me, progress is an improvement to the quality of life for all people, all the beings on the planet, and the planet itself — not just some people,” she told VentureBeat. “So I think it’s very important before we invest in any technology, to think whether that development is continuing progress. Or if it’s not, maybe we shouldn’t do it.”

Oliver is activating this belief beyond just her own research, speaking regularly on the topic and also creating the Institute for Humanity Centric AI, a nonprofit focused on the impact of AI. She’s also leading efforts to bring more women into the industry and asks any young girls who may be reading this to consider opportunities in the field. Oliver herself was the first woman computer scientist in Spain to be named an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an ACM Fellow. She was also the first woman scientific director of R&D at Telefonica and continues making waves today as the chief scientific advisor of Vodafone Institute.

We’re thrilled to offer Oliver this much-deserved award. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her research and discuss responsible AI, the challenges in the industry, and how business leaders can make sense of the quickly evolving field.

Read the interview here: https://venturebeat.com/2021/08/06/meet-the-ai-research-pioneer-who-wants-to-redefine-progress/