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Dr Mahsa

Director of Women in Technology at AUT & founder of She Sharp


Dr. Mahsa McCauley is a respected Senior Lecturer and the Director of Women in Tech at Auckland University of Technology, School of Computer, Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences. With expertise in AI and machine learning, she is widely recognised as a global leader in her field.

Passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the technology industry, Mahsa is the visionary founder of She Sharp, a charitable trust dedicated to empowering women in technology through networking and learning opportunities. Through She Sharp, she actively encourages young girls in New Zealand to explore the exciting possibilities of pursuing careers in technology.

Mahsa's efforts to bridge the gender gap in tech have earned her numerous accolades. She was honoured as the Emerging Leader category winner in the 2013 Westpac Women of Influence Awards and was a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In recognition of her commitment to equal pay, she received the Champion Award at the 2019 YWCA Equal Pay awards. Her outstanding contributions have also been acknowledged by the Massey University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2020.

Additionally, Mahsa's dedication to cybersecurity and her invaluable contributions earned her the Unsung Hero Award at the Women in Cybersecurity awards in 2023. Her multifaceted achievements and tireless efforts to create positive change exemplify her unwavering commitment to championing women in technology and fostering an inclusive industry.

Overall, Dr. Mahsa McCauley's remarkable leadership, expertise in AI, and unwavering dedication to empowering women in technology make her a highly influential figure in academia and the tech community globally, and a highly sought after keynote speaker on these topics.

Talking Points

Adapting AI Tools for STEAM exploration

Exploring how AI can be integrated into STEAM education and the benefits of doing so

Discussing best practices for developing AI curriculum, including incorporating real-world applications, engaging students in hands-on projects, and collaborating with industry partners

Discussing the impact of AI on the job market and the skills needed to succeed in an AI-driven economy

Artificial Intelligence in Real Life

Presentations and discussions to explore the opportunities, challenges, and risks around the use of AI in our digital future.

Key themes for strategically applying AI in business include:

• Identifying high-impact use cases. What decisions could be made better, faster, or cheaper with AI than a human?
• Align AI strategy with business strategy to accelerate the biggest opportunities and overcome the biggest threats.
• Start with a small use case but a big goal. For example, 10X improvement. • Fast iterations to maximise learning.

• Integrate AI into workflows and look for system-wide opportunities.

Human Augmentation in the Future of Work and Education

The need to talk about AI's strengths underscored the importance of trust, especially in fields like healthcare and education, where human expertise, empathy, and compassion remain valued.

Dr Mahsa McCauley, Director of Women in Technology says AI tools such as ChatGPT will augment learning and speed up the process. However, she emphasised that students will still need the basic knowledge and critical thinking skills to verify the outputs. Creativity will also remain important. Teachers’ jobs aren’t at risk, but they will change, she says. For example, teachers will play a crucial role in guiding students to discern fact from potentially false outputs.
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