Who are you and what do you do? My name is Claire. I’m a product manager at a tech company by day, but I come alive at night! In the evenings I run the blog artificially intelligent Claire. The blog is about all things AI and my journey to become a self-taught machine learning scientist.
Where did it all start for you with AI/Chemistry, had you always been interested?
I’ve always loved science and math. I remember doing science experiments in primary school and enjoying learning about how the world worked.
As a result, I studied chemistry and was working in a research lab has completed my masters. After a few years of working on innovations projects with 20-year scope, I wanted to move to something faster. That’s when I moved to work in a tech company. Initially, on the business side but then moving closer to tech, I become exposed to the wonders of machine learning and AI. I was fascinated by it. It felt like my passions for science, and fast-paced environments were colliding in ever more impressive ways. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to connect with people and drive the discussion on artificial intelligence. In doing so, I hope to allow people to take control of their views on technology and join the debate on future applications.
You put in a crazy amount of work to help people learn everything AI, what motivates you/what do you find motivating?
Over the last couple of years, I have become increasingly concerned with the narrative on AI from politicians and the media. Many share messages about artificial intelligence that are at best misleading and often inaccurate. Under normal circumstances, I have been content(ish) to sit on the sidelines cursing those with the microphone for spreading their ‘fake news.’ I would hope for them to see the error of their ways and actually look at the data knowing they wouldn’t. However, with the seemingly infinite potential of AI, I felt compelled to take action. That’s when I started my blog Artificially Intelligent Claire, a source of truth and inspiration for people interested in learning about AI. It’s what keeps me motivated.
What do you find most exciting in the tech field/AI at the moment?
It’s not one specific area of the field that excites me most, it’s the feeling of being in a time of rapid innovation. We seem to be in this beautiful innovation phase. Now that the hardware has caught up with the theory we are able to rapidly test, experiment and discover new solutions to age-old problems. It’s an exciting phenomenon to experience.
What is your favourite thing about your job? What excites you most?
My favourite thing about both my ‘real job’ and my side hustle is the people. Getting to meet new and interesting people all the time and become involved in new communities is something I find really exciting. I’m always learning.
Do you have any advice for people pursuing/aspiring to your career?
My first piece of advice would be to go for it! Don’t wait to be invited. I have previously waited to be given opportunities I wanted but don’t be like me, don’t wait to be invited just jump in!
The other piece of advice I would give is to follow your passions and be open to learning more things. There are so many different resources out there for you to train yourself. Find an area you like and then learn about it. This helps you decide upon and get the career you really want.
On top of your day job, you also run an online store (which is awesome) and a blog. What prompted you to start this?
In addition to my desire to go against the political rhetoric on tech, I felt there was creativity missing in my role. I’m a reasonably creative person, so I started my side hustle to fill that void.
What’s your favourite store item at the moment?
I love the 404 Coffee sweatshirt in grey. There will also always be a special place in my heart for the In-te-ger jumper as it was the first design I ever created.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to open an online store/blog? What were your significant barriers to starting (if any!) and how did you overcome them?
It’s a lot easier than it used to be with plenty of different options. I actually wrote a guide on it that you can read here. However, the number one piece of advice I would give is run the numbers! Make sure you know all your costs when pricing your products before listing, so you’re not losing money. The other piece of advice is to get really good at googling for help. There will be a lot of technical problems, and you will have to fix them yourself. I wish I had known that when I started.
Tell us about the best moment/ most rewarding moment, for you, after starting the blog/store?
Every month has a highlight!
Some of the best ones so far have been:
- Reaching 1000 readers a month for the first time
- Selling my first jumper – that was awesome!
- Unsolicited feedback. Occasionally I get lovely messages from people who read them, and it’s incredible. Totally makes my day!
Balancing a blog, online store and a career must take an incredible amount of time/stress, is there anything you do to destress?
In January I started meditating every morning. I find that helps a lot. Also, I have started trying to do a lot more yoga. This is in part for the de-stressing element, but also because I spend so much of my time sat down at the computer.
Who are some people that you find inspiring and why?
I have been so fortunate to have had many mentors and sponsors throughout my life who have shaped it. They are the people who inspire me every day.
Most importantly, I have an incredibly supportive partner and family who are always cheering me on. They are also great for telling me when my ego is getting too big, and I need to pipe down!
I also am always inspired by the Women I meet who are working in tech. They are so passionate about what they do and about making it better for other women working in tech. You cannot help but be inspired!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to go for walks around my flat to clear my head. I also enjoy traveling – this year we’re going to Japan, and I cannot wait.
What’s your favourite color?
Red. Red has always been my favorite color. I feel like it’s very powerful and passionate.
What is your favorite film just now and why?
Can I have three?
- Den of thieves – Such a great film! I won’t tell you why but you have to watch it
- The Hate You Give – another brilliant film that really makes you think
- Crazy Rich Asians – It’s just so much fun!
If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why? (from any time period!)
I would be a random happy hippie girl at Woodstock. I know I should probably go for something more profound and interesting but I’d just love to have been there.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Glass is actually a liquid – it just moves really slowly. Oh, and you should all totally check out my blog too!
(I did not know that! Mind has been blown)
Finally, will robots and artificial intelligence take over the world?
Hahaha, good question! Call me an idealist, but I honestly see the potential for AI to really help humanity and all things living on earth.
Also, I do not think we are at the level, or even close to getting to the level Musk speaks of where we will have super intelligent robots capable of taking over. However, in the time it will take us to get to the super-intelligent robot, my belief is we will have also developed a way to combat the super-intelligent killer robot.
Thanks Claire, that was amazing! I especially loved your comments on robots taking over the world! Check out Claire’s amazing shop for all the wonderful designs she makes!