June was all about converging art, science, and technology for the Enterprise Incubator Foundation as the highly anticipated international annual conference “Women in Data Science” (WiDS) was organized at the Gyumri Technology Center on June 28 under the ‘Creative Cognition’ theme.  

With its revolutionary impact, Artificial Intelligence has fundamentally transformed many industries across the globe. Keeping pace with this powerful force of advancement is crucial in today’s ever-evolving landscape. And the conference was a unique platform for experts from different industries to gather under one roof and share their experiences, ideas, and visions for the future of creativity in the age of AI, with a special focus on empowering females in the field.

Bella Harutyunyan, the Manager of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation’s Gyumri Technology Center delivered the opening remarks during the event, noting:

“In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, it has become imperative to pose the right questions. Art, being a transformative force, plays a significant role in altering perspectives and contemplating these questions from unique angles. This forms the foundation of the “Women in Data Science” event, which thrives on interdisciplinarity—the convergence of art, science, and technology.” 

Through a series of keynote talks, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, over 200 participants from different regions of Armenia, including representatives from the local and international public and private sectors explored three main themes – a future-ready workforce in the age of AI, the ethical considerations of AI usage and the impact of AI on creative processes, and the intersection of AI and art. Panelists and keynote speakers were women data scientists, tech enthusiasts, and traditional and digital artists.

“The integration of AI technologies in the educational landscape has revolutionized how we acquire knowledge, explore new subjects, and develop skills. Within the USAID-funded Armenia Workforce Development Activity, we recognize the importance of staying at the forefront of these advancements,” said USAID/Armenia’s Strategy and Program Office Director Cristina Fentross.

The event also prioritized the engagement and involvement of the regional youth. The youth panel discussion, titled “The ethical considerations of AI usage and the impact of AI on creative processes” was led by young people.

The Country Manager of the World Bank (WB) for Armenia Carolin Geginat also addressed the participants.

“Events like the Women in Data Science conference serve as powerful catalysts, capable of inspiring and motivating the upcoming generation of data scientists, particularly young women exploring career paths in this domain. By featuring accomplished women in data science and fostering a platform for sharing knowledge, this event effectively dismantles stereotypes, empowering young individuals to embrace education and embark on fulfilling careers within this rapidly expanding and influential field,” she said, highlighting the importance of hosting events of this magnitude in Gyumri, acknowledging its positive impact on the region’s development.

The conference also included career orientation workshops for the regional youth on the topic of AI. The event culminated with a collaborative exhibition at GTC Art Space, featuring female artists.

This year in Armenia, the “Women in Data Science” event was organized and implemented by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation under the Armenia Workforce Development Activity funded by USAID with the active support of Gyumri and Vanadzor Technology Centers, Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center, Microsoft Innovation Center, CyHub Armenia Cybersecurity Initiative, and the Armenian National Supercomputing Center project.

WiDS Armenia is an independent event that is organized by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation as part of the annual WiDS Worldwide conference, the WiDS Datathon, and an estimated 200 WiDS Regional Events worldwide. Everyone is invited to attend all WiDS conference and WiDS Datathon Workshop events which feature outstanding women doing outstanding work. Due to collaboration between Stanford University and EIF Armenia also has WIDS Ambassadors.