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Artificial Intelligence Camp Bridges STEM Gender Gap

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Participants in this year's SAILORS program.

High school girls from 20 U.S. states and three countries came together to listen to lectures and work with faculty in Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Credit: Vivian Chiang/The Stanford Daily

The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Outreach Summer (SAILORS) was created last summer by Stanford University professor Fei-Fei Li and postdoctoral researcher Olga Russakovsky. The program brings together high school girls from 20 U.S. states and three countries to listen to lectures and conduct research with faculty in Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab.

"SAILORS is built on the hypothesis that a humanistic mission statement would attract more diverse students," Li says. "In turn, their values and perspectives are injected into the technology that will impact our society."

Women hold less than 25% of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs and women majoring in STEM are less likely to end up working in STEM fields compared with their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The department attributes these trends to a "lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields."

The SAILORS participants listened and took notes during a lecture on computer vision in the morning, and participated in team bonding activities before lunch. Li says the lectures and research projects provide an engaging and comfortable environment for the girls to explore their interests.

From Stanford Daily
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