AI ANNOUNCEMENT: Afghan All-Girl Robotics team offered centre stage at the first World Summit AI in Amsterdam

The team will share a stage with major names at the World Summit AI including Stuart Russell from Berkeley and Steve Chien of NASA

The group of six teenage girls from Afghanistan denied visas to the U.S. due to the recently imposed travel ban will now take centre stage at the first World Summit AI in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in October 2017, it was confirmed today.

The team were hoping to compete in an international robotics competition being held in the U.S. this month.  

After hearing of the team’s plight, Sarah Porter, CEO of World Summit AI, immediately contacted Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan’s first female technology chief executive and the team’s sponsor to offer them a place on centre stage at the event.

Sarah said of her decision: “These girls deserve a platform to showcase their work and to have equal opportunity to succeed and achieve in tech. With the World Summit AI we will be placing them alongside the world’s most influential AI speakers and in front of crowds of over 2000 people.

The determination of these young girls is inspiring and we want to assist them in any way we can.”

Roya Mahboob, commented; “It's a great chance for the girls to showcase their work and an important step in the development of female talent in the Middle East.”

The team will be sharing stage with big names in the AI world, including Stuart Russell from Berkeley, the University of California; Steve Chien, Head of AI Group, JPL at NASA; and Gary Marcus and Zoubin Gharamani, who recently sold their AI start up Geometric Intelligence to Uber. The inaugural Summit takes place in October in Amsterdam.  It will be welcomed by Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands.

Roya Mahboob was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world (as compiled by Sheryl Sandberg).

Roya is also the founder of Digital Citizen Fund, a non-profit that empowers women and children through digital literacy in Afghanistan, and the CEO of her own software company.


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