Jan. 24, 2022

#28: Talking AI, AI ethics, and microinvesting ft. Chinasa T. Okolo


My guest today is Chinasa T. Okolo. In this episode, Chinasa and I talk about her experience in tech, artificial intelligence, and most importantly, artificial intelligence ethics. She also goes over micro investing and how you can get started. Okolo is a CS Ph.D. student at Cornell University with various research interests. Specifically, she's worked on a variety of projects related to artificial intelligence and healthcare. In her spare time, she's a startup advisor and micro investor. Have a listen

Here is a snapshot of a few things we talked about…

Introduction [0:00]

How Did She Get into the Field of Computer Science? [01:03]

How Did Her Early Learning Benefit Her? [02:46]

Which Technologies and Subjects Excite Her the Most? [03:36]

Some of Her Favorite Projects that She Has Built [04:53]

Why Did She Want to Pursue Her Ph.D. at Cornell? [07:53]

What are Some of the Ethical Ways to Use AI and ML to Help Africa? [09:13]

What Influenced Her to Want to Join a Startup? [13:30]

How Does it Feel Not to Know What to Do and have Different Ideas? [16:12]

What Does it Mean To be a Micro Investor? [17:52]

How to Get Involved in Micro Investing? [19:29]

Does She Have Plans of Having Her Own Startup? [26:58]

Top Attributes a Company Should Have to Prove They are Worth Investing In? [28:08]

The First Thing She'd Do If She Had to Start Over from Scratch [29:32]

If She Had to Learn About Investing from Scratch, Where Would She Start [30:38]

Key Quotes...

(Show notes from our interview have been edited for clarity and brevity.)

  • "I really became interested in CS just through my interest in Biology and Medicine, most specifically Medicine…"
  • "I was interested in programming and coding. I was very interested in the Societal impacts of Tech …"
  • Couple of follow up studies on that more generally, just understand the scope of different AI topics in Global South, people who live in these regions to understand with interact with and perceive AI. So I'm very interested to continue on in that space…
  • “A lot of times we see just technology in general being transported from like the West to Global South, without any real study or thought about how it may differ for people who live in these regions…”
  • "Being the child of immigrants and seeing and hearing the issues that family members face back home that was also the motivation for me to understand how health and technologies can be improved to help the lives of people…"
  • “I feel like it's very important to emphasize like those living and experiencing issues firsthand, from what I see is that obviously healthcare and public education and those are the primary things…”
  • "I think that using AI, Machine Learning methods can help with things such as trying to optimize farming and crop yields…"
  • "I like to think of my Ph.D. as a startup within itself and so that's kind of my main focus at the moment…"
  • "The Startup world is very tricky to learn, and it's also much more risky than investing in 401k or a Roth IRA or just a personal investment account …"

Where to Find Chinasa T. Okolo

Website: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/~chinasa/ 

LinkedIn: https://ng.linkedin.com/in/chinasa-okolo-a522a52b 

Twitter: @ChinasaTOkolo