Featured Interview With Dr. Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I am a citizen of the world who has lived on four continents. I spent most of my career working with the United Nations as a humanitarian, and as a sustainable development practitioner. I led ground-breaking work on the ethical complexities, and potentials, of artificial intelligence. That work informs my debut novel Teaching Machines How to Cry. I hold a PhD in Human Geography and live in Portugal with my two sons.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Last year, my son Alan asked me (as he does every other night) “Mommy, tell me a story.” As I told him the story of a child pirate who navigated the Caribbean Sea, something clicked inside me – why not share my thoughts and beliefs about AI and ethics by telling a story about it? The day after, I woke up before my alarm clock, and I wrote the first paragraphs of Teaching Machines How to Cry.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have worked in the field of AI for the last eight years. I was responsible for managing the development, testing, and deployment of AI prototypes to advance the work of the United Nations and its partners to tackle issues such as poverty, climate change, and conflict around the world.
Every day I advocated for the ethical design and use of AI technology whether I was in the office or on the world stage and I wondered – where are we heading with the light-speed development of AI technologies? I wrote Teaching Machines how to Cry to present this question to the reader.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My first novel, Teaching Machines how to Cry, is an invitation to you to ponder the questions: Where are we heading with the development of AI technologies? And who decides what happens next? It is also an invitation to enjoy a book about the wonders of machine-learning, AI prototypes, humor, love, dreams, and inexplicable events.
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