Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and a little bit of luck: that’s how most get to the top of their chosen fields. In honor of Women’s Month, we are kicking off our profile series with the woman behind the artificial intelligence (AI) tool that broke the Internet in late 2022, ChatGPT. She’s part of the 22 percent of women working on intelligent technologies and at the age of 34, she’s one of the top players in the game. But this isn’t about her “children” – this is about her and the struggle to break the glass ceiling in a male-dominated field.
From the little available online, it is clear that Ms. Murati is a private person, which is an achievement in and of itself in this age of digital connectivity. She was born in 1988 to Albanian parents and moved to Victoria, Canada at the age of 16 to study at Pearson United World College of the Pacific. 2012 was a milestone year for Murati, as she earned her Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College. To put this achievement in perspective, Dartmouth had a 13.2 percent acceptance rate in 2012, according to Ivy Coach’s “2012 Ivy League Admissions Statistics”.
Started from the Bottom
Right from the beginning, Murati took advantage of opportunities to work for prominent names. During her college years, she worked as a summer analyst for Wall Street giant, Goldman Sachs.
At the age of 24, right out of college, Ms. Murati landed a job at Zodiac Aerospace, a French aerospace and defense company. She climbed the corporate ladder to become Tesla’s senior product manager by the age of 28. Her next stop was Leap Motion, an American motion-sensing technology company, where Mira became their Vice President of product engineering.
And Now She’s Here: OpenAI
June 2018 marked the beginning of her four years long journey at OpenAI that led her to become the powerful woman she is today. She started as the Vice President of Applied AI & Partnerships. Almost three years later, she was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Research, Products, and Partnerships. Today, Mira Murati holds the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the progressive and forward-thinking startup, OpenAI. She led the teams that developed the innovative intelligent technology behind DALL-E and ChatGPT. The groundbreaking technology that redefined generative AI.
Ethical Technology Above All Else
The most refreshing part for me is having a distinguished tech expert who admits to the duality of technology and the potential damage that might occur if it is misused.
In an interview with TIME Magazine, Murati discussed the chatbot’s shortcomings and the need for AI regulations. When asked about key ethical or philosophical questions left unanswered, she said, “AI can be misused, or it can be used by bad actors. So, then there are questions about how you govern the use of this technology globally. How do you govern the use of AI in a way that’s aligned with human values?”
When asked about who should regulate, she affirmed the need to bring these issues into the public discourse in a controlled and responsible manner. She then urged everyone, including policymakers, to join the conversation as these technologies are set to change operations as we know them.
Mira Murati is a well of knowledge and information, and these quick glances allowed us to see her ethical standpoints. A discussion with her would be a golden ticket, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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