Lolita Taub is a TEDx speaker and keynote, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, an artificial intelligence enthusiast, and an enterprise tech professional. She holds 9 years of enterprise B2B software-hardware-and-services sales experience at IBM, Cisco Systems, and in Silicon Valley. Lolita has been recognized for her work on Forbes, Inc.com, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications.
Currently, Lolita resides in Madrid, Spain with her husband where she is an MBA student at IE Business School (ranked #8 Global MBA by the Financial Times), an intern at venture capital firm K Fund, and a mentor for the IBM AI X Prize.
QX: Lolita, mid of June this year you gave a TEDx talk about Artificial Intelligence, its merits and challenges. First of all, why should everyone join the AI conversation?
Lolita: Work, life, and play will be disrupted by AI. How this happens depends on those building AIs and those leading in the field. As it stands, they are largely a homogenous community; and this homogeneity poses a threat in the amplification of opportunity inequality and diversity discrimination in the world (among other things). To avoid harm caused by AIs and position AI to truly augment our lives, I encourage everyone to join the AI conversation. After all, the voices of the people who will be influenced by AI need to be heard.
QX: “Human smart, but machine fast output” - If technology can learn to do everything that we can do, but better, what does that leave for us?
Lolita: Two things come to mind: purpose and wealth distribution. If we replace all current labor we do with machines, we may struggle feeling that we do not have much reason to exist and suffer a loss of purpose. We have to be thoughtful of this. Replacing a sense of purpose will be what’s left for us to do. We also have to work out how we will distribute wealth as jobs are replaced up by tech. I like Bill Gates’ thought on taxing technology to subsidize people’s lives.
QX: “Raising AI to be ‘good’”, what does that mean?
Lolita: AI has the potential to take care of us, but before it can, we need to raise it to be good. Think of David in the movie AI. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s a movie about a society that has created AI boys and girls for childless parents. David is an AI boy who needs rearing, and he learns like a human. Just like David, the AIs in our world need to be raised to be good.
QX: Next to AI, you are passionately advocating for bringing more women into the tech industry. As an enterprise tech professional with a well-proven experience and impressive track record, tell us about the importance of “Women in Tech”!
Lolita: As a feminist, I believe that more than the current 5% of tech startup founders and 11% of tech executives at Fortune 500 companies should be women. As a businesswoman, I believe that it's important to take advantage of the economic value that comes with hiring women (and diversity as a whole). According to McKinsey, embracing more women can amount to $12 trillion to the global economy.
QX: How can everyone join this initiative and best promote and advance this important issue?
Lolita: I was recently asked the same question in a Forbes interview and my answer remains the same: we need women and men to take on their roles as sponsors, advisors, and mentors to women. In the tech world in particular, we need more women to proudly own the title of woman in tech, businesswoman, woman tech investor, and woman tech founder. We all need to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I offer more ideas on how to diversify tech and AI here.
QX: Currently we are observing hundreds of tech start-ups emerging. In your role as a venture capitalist at K Fund, how do you identify the success stories in this bulk of emerging companies?
Lolita: Selecting investments is a team effort. At the core, we decipher whether a startup aligns with the fund’s thesis; inspect different aspects of startup dealflow (e.g. the team, the market, their performance, the foreseeable growth potential); and consider the cultural fit and how complementary the startup is to the rest of the portfolio.
QX: After graduating from IE Business School, which shores will you be heading for?
Lolita: I plan to jump into AI business development and continue to push for diversity inclusion in the tech space.
QX: On a personal note, looking at all these numerous activities and topics you are engaging in, how do you stay focused and where do you find your energy?
Lolita: To stay focused, I use a Website Blocker extension and block social media during my working hours; religiously live life honoring my Google Calendar (that includes “enjoy life” and “no meetings” time blocks), let Inbox help me with AI automatic replies, and save time by using Calendly to schedule meetings. As for energy, I find it in doing what I love, connecting and working with passionate people, and, of course, caffeinating once (or twice) a day.
QX: What is your personal Vanity?
Lolita: The first thing that comes to mind is vanity URLs. Mine is lolitataub.co. Visit and let me know what you think. I love connecting with good people.
Thank you for the talk!