Growing up in a country where traditional gender roles are still somewhat prevalent, Samira Korani, decided to break the mold of society’s standards and dive into a field of work no one considered she would. While Iran is seeing increasing numbers of women pursuing STEM fields, many women there continue to face the same challenges as their female counterparts around the world. Samira’s steadfast fixation on her dream, however, never left room for her to doubt her desire to help bring Iran into the future using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Growing up as the only daughter with four brothers, Samira easily differentiated herself from her traditional family. While her parents encouraged her to pursue the arts and possibly marry at a young age, she found herself drawn to math and science. She developed a passion that would ultimately serve as catalyst into her career in tech.
“When I grew up, I started believing that we can use technology to predict our society’s changes and learn about our country’s past.”
This revelation led Samira to text mining. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management and her Master's degree Information Technology, Samira developed a better understanding of how text mining would be particularly helpful in Iran where the dominant language is Farsi.
Utilizing text mining with Farsi is particularly difficult due to the lack of text corpus, or large collections of electronic documents. A text corpus would serve as a primary source of data for research dealing with language, however, its limited supply makes it challenging to determine facts about Iran’s history.
Essentially text mining uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to derive quality information from written text and transform it into quantitative learning material. Using Python Samira is able to generate new information from documents that can be converted into data for analysis.
Unfortunately, in Samira’s experience, the Iranian government still adheres to traditional practices and is slower to adopt new technologies, such as AI for data analysis. However, she does not let that slow her down.
As an instructor at Iran’s leading institution for engineering and physical science disciplines, Sharif University, Samira connects with an open source community discussing the importance of artificial intelligence. She also strives to mentor young women to change the traditional societal expectations and encourages them to pursue their dreams.
“In my field, they try to ignore me and they told me I couldn’t be a coder, but I am a hard worker, and I had a dream to work with technology. The future of science is artificial intelligence because humans and technology integrate with each other. It took a lot of hard work and not being disappointed easily to do what I do, but I will continue reach my goal.”