Liji Thomas is an AI Microsoft MVP and currently works as Manager (Data + AI) at Valorem Reply. With over 15 years of experience in technical and leadership positions, she has built cutting-edge digital experiences for a variety of Windows devices including mobiles, tablets, desktops, and Xbox. Liji is currently leading digital transformation initiatives for clients worldwide by managing technical consultants and collaborating with global teams of various disciplines. Her main interest lies in creating Conversational AI experiences that are not only enjoyable but also responsible, with a special focus on AI technologies.
Are you excited to speak at the Women in Tech Global Conference and what motivated you to join our community of 100 000 women in tech, minorities, and allies?
I am truly excited and honored to be speaking at the Women in Tech Global Conference. This event is an exceptional platform for professionals from diverse backgrounds to come together, share knowledge, and inspire each other. My motivation for joining this community stems from my commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. I believe that empowering women, minorities, and allies to actively participate in the field is essential for fostering creativity, innovation, and equal opportunities. By engaging with this community, I aim to contribute my expertise and learn from others, thereby nurturing a more inclusive environment in the world of technology.
Share with us about your background, your journey in tech, and what inspired you to develop your career in this direction.
Growing up, I always had a deep fascination with technology and its potential to change the world. My interest in computers began at an early age when my dad brought home a personal computer. I spent countless hours tinkering with it, playing games, and then learning how to code. This early passion laid the foundation for my career in tech. I pursued a degree in computer science, where I was exposed to various fields within technology, including programming, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction. During my master's program, I was particularly drawn to the potential of AI and machine learning to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with technology.
Throughout my academic, professional, and community journey, I was fortunate to have several mentors who not only taught me the technical aspects of the field but also emphasized the importance of ethics, empathy, and inclusivity in technology. These values have been a guiding force in my career, inspiring me to use my skills to make a positive impact on society. Over the years, I have been actively involved in various initiatives aimed at promoting AI and AI for Good in the tech industry, including mentoring programs, workshops, and conferences. I believe that by fostering an inclusive environment, we can cultivate innovation, creativity, and problem-solving capabilities that ultimately benefit the entire industry.
In summary, my journey in tech has been driven by a deep-rooted curiosity and passion for the transformative power of technology, coupled with a strong commitment to ethical development and promoting diversity and inclusion in the field. I am continually inspired by the potential of AI and other emerging technologies to reshape our world for the better and am dedicated to using my skills and expertise to contribute to this exciting future.
Why is the topic “Generative AI: The advent of Creative Machines” important to you?
The topic of "Generative AI: The advent of Creative Machines" is particularly important to me because it represents a significant paradigm shift in the way technology interacts with human creativity. Generative AI, such as GPT, has the potential to revolutionize numerous industries, including art, music, design, and even scientific research. By understanding and leveraging the capabilities of these creative machines, we can augment human creativity, fuel innovation, and develop solutions to complex problems in ways we never imagined possible. Personally and professionally, I am passionate about exploring the opportunities and challenges brought forth by generative AI, as well as encouraging responsible development and ethical applications of this groundbreaking technology.
Who would you advise to attend the Women in Tech Global Conference and why?
I would advise a wide range of individuals to attend the Women in Tech Global Conference, including:
Women working in technology or aspiring to enter the field: The conference offers an excellent opportunity to learn from successful women in tech, network with peers, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and innovations.
Professionals from underrepresented backgrounds: The event is designed to promote diversity and inclusion, providing valuable resources and support for minorities in the tech industry.
Allies committed to fostering diversity and inclusion: The conference enables allies to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by underrepresented groups, learn effective strategies for promoting inclusivity, and collaborate with like-minded individuals.
Employers and decision-makers: Attending the conference can help employers and decision-makers better understand the value of diverse teams and learn best practices for creating an inclusive work environment.
Students and educators: The event offers a unique learning experience for individuals interested in technology, providing them with insights into various career paths and inspiring the next generation of tech leaders.