Computer science major Lama Khalil will be virtually heading to Montreal this summer as the first UWindsor student to take part in the all-female AI4Good Lab, which offers lectures, workshops, and mentorship opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI).
She will join 29 other AI-focused students from around Canada in the bootcamp, blending academic and industry participation on the use of the technology for social good. In addition to meeting people in the industry and working in teams to solve social problems, Khalil receives a $500 stipend. She says she already has project ideas she wants to work on.
“For starters — the middle class who need legal representation are in a tough spot. They are too rich for legal aid, but too poor to afford lawyers,” says Khalil.
“I want to use AI to make legal information more accessible so by the time someone contacts a lawyer, they already have a good knowledge base of their legal options, saving them time and legal expenses.”
She also sees an opportunity for AI to become a doctor’s assistant by making medical diagnoses more efficient, which could cut down on wait times.
The AI4Good program is presented by CIFAR (formerly the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) and the Montreal-based non-profit Osmo.
Khalil is a recipient of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and will start Masters studies in computer science in fall 2021 under the supervision of Ziad Kobti, director of the School of Computer Science.
“Dr. Kobti is very empowering and supportive of women and he really wants to give women an equal chance,” says Khalil. “I am very proud to be a woman computer scientist and I think we will bring a big change in this domain.”
Dr. Kobti says he suggested Khalil apply to AI4Good Lab because she shows great promise.
“Women in computer science are generally very scarce, but at the School of Computer Science we have been diligently working over the years to promote CS to young female students, reaching out to them as early as middle school,” he says.
“The school has fundraised and allocated several undergraduate scholarships for female students; we invite the public and donors to help support these scholarships by donating to this worthy cause.”