Women in AI
Nadia C. Rojas Ramírez
For Nadia C. Rojas Ramírez, Product Owner of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Assistants at BBVA, a leading global financial services firm, studying technology was a way to potentially learn to automate her home: she envisioned automated chores, chatting with her car, and having an assistant to help out around the house.
“I dreamed of the idea of automating my home, probably taking some ideas from film,” she recalls. “I liked the idea of making my life easier so I don't have to do certain tasks. Since high school, I studied programming because I liked the idea of being able to automate things. I still like to be able to create things that make everyday life easier.”
Today, Nadia uses AI to make everyday life easier for all of BBVA’s customers. Her team is responsible for BBVA’s Blue application, which allows customers to perform a customer service task with a single instruction in colloquial language. Blue is available on BBVA’s app to improve customer service through voice interactions.
“Everything is focused on giving 24-hour automated attention to our clients and improving the experience they have,” Nadia says. “We want them to feel accompanied and taken care of at all times.”
Innovation is nothing new for Nadia and BBVA. She was a pioneer of the company’s SMS banking, which first allowed the bank and its customers to interact with one another via text message. In 2018, BBVA was a pioneer once again in Mexico, using WhatsApp integrated with Blue to provide general customer information and allow customers to locate the nearest ATM.
Much of Nadia's professional career has been spent in engineering and innovating. She believes that more women can and should enter the technology space, but she’s concerned that women and men alike are intimidated by a false perception that technical skills are a prerequisite.
“There are many ways to apply technology and AI, and women must be conscious that we live with AI every day,” she explains. “If we sensitize women to all of the fields in which AI can be applied, it can become much more attractive to them because the vision they might have is very skewed.” She believes we can inspire women about the many ways AI and technology are already impacting everyday lives — not only making tasks easier but saving lives.
“I have also shown friends and family how easy it is to ask on WhatsApp for information about a bank product and I have taught them how they interact daily with AI without realizing they do it,” she says. “On Spotify, in their car, when they use Facebook's facial recognition, in how Google autocompletes the content of their email according to how they express themselves — I give them examples of their daily interaction with AI and how it makes their lives easier.”