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  • My father used to call me Jamila "Gabar Nasiib Nasiib Badan,"

  • which means Jamila "The Lucky, Lucky Girl."

  • And I have been very fortunate in my life.

  • My family were originally nomads.

  • And when it rained the night I was born,

  • they stopped in a tiny village that looked a bit like this,

  • where we lived in the next 11 years

  • until drought and a war with Ethiopia

  • forced us to move to Somali's capital, Mogadishu.

  • When I was 18,

  • my father realized Somalia was headed for a civil war

  • and we are all at risk of being killed.

  • He did his best

  • to get me and my 13 brothers and sisters out of the country.

  • The family was scattered to the wind.

  • I was lucky.

  • I ended up on my own as a displaced person in Kenya,

  • and I was fortunate to come to Australia

  • thanks to a backpacker who I met there.

  • I was incredibly grateful

  • when the Australian government gave me unemployment benefits

  • while I learned English,

  • but I wanted to find work as soon as I could.

  • I learned about a Japanese restaurant that was hiring,

  • and I thought, "What do I have to lose?"

  • Mami, the woman who ran front of house,

  • figured my poor English might be a problem,

  • so she sent me to the kitchen to meet her husband, Yoshi.

  • Now, Yoshi didn't speak much English either,

  • but we managed to communicate with one another.

  • He hired me as a dishwasher and trained me as a kitchen hand.

  • Now, that couple's kindness set me on a path

  • where hard work and persistence led me to my graduation

  • as a software developer

  • and went on to become a global executive with IBM

  • and later, chief information officer of Qantas Airways.

  • Now I want artificial intelligence

  • to do at a massive scale what that couple did for me:

  • give disadvantaged people tools to find work,

  • give them the skills to be great at their jobs,

  • get them to do their jobs safely,

  • to give them a break.

  • You hear stories

  • about how artificial intelligence is going to take away jobs

  • and automate everything.

  • And in some cases that might be true,

  • but I can tell you in the real world right now,

  • AI is making amazing things possible for organizations

  • and for people who otherwise would have been left behind.

  • Language, education and location are no longer the barriers they once were.

  • And to help break down those barriers

  • is one of the reasons I founded my company.

  • Much of our work is in global food supply chains,

  • especially in the meat industry.

  • We use computer vision-based AI

  • to create transparency for consumers

  • and to reward producers who operate ethically and sustainably.

  • But AI can do much more than that.

  • For example, it can notice unsafe behaviors,

  • like if someone is not wearing their personal protective gear correctly,

  • or someone not following the hygiene procedures,

  • or if someone needs help on how to carry out a specific task

  • because they're not following the recipe correctly.

  • We can make sure people are socially distancing

  • and can provide contact tracing if needed.

  • We then deliver individualized training to that person's preferred language

  • both in written and audio formats.

  • Now, ability to read or write or to speak the local language

  • are no longer the obstacles they once were.

  • Many of the employees in the food industry

  • are often migrants, refugees or people from disadvantaged backgrounds

  • who might not be able to speak the local language

  • and often might not be able to read or write well.

  • In fact, one of our customers

  • have 49 languages spoken in some of their facilities,

  • with English long way down the list.

  • When we can see opportunities for improvements

  • and then deliver training with that person's preferred language,

  • it makes huge difference to the organization and to its people.

  • And that is only the beginning.

  • When I was very young

  • about five or six years old, living in that tiny village

  • one of my jobs was to carry buckets of water

  • from the well to the huts.

  • And I remember putting the buckets down in every 20 meters or so

  • and how the handles digged into my hands.

  • They were so heavy,

  • and I was so scrawny because we didn't have enough to eat.

  • Even though that experience taught me resilience,

  • it's not something I want any other child to go through.

  • I want to live in a world where people are not limited

  • by local language, by geography,

  • by lack of access to knowledge and training,

  • where everyone is safe at work,

  • when nobody's excluded because they cannot read or write,

  • where everyone can fulfill their potential.

  • Now AI can deliver this world.

  • Thank you.

My father used to call me Jamila "Gabar Nasiib Nasiib Badan,"

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B1 TED ai language yoshi disadvantaged deliver

How AI can help shatter barriers to equality | Jamila Gordon

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/22
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