Davar Ardalan on – An Algorithm for Stories on Women;

Davar Ardalan is the Founder and Storyteller in chief at IVOW AI, building cultural intelligence for AI. Their ongoing global dataset challenges are part of the IVOW labs. She will be presenting a talk on building culturally inclusive AI models at the Quest for Quality conference.

Davar and the Ivow team are working on an amazing project and we believe a summary is worth sharing here;

To build effective AI products and solutions we need to create more comprehensive datasets to nurture cultural intelligence in machines. We are excited to be joining global software engineers and testers at Quest for Quality in Dublin, Ireland to discuss our first global dataset challenge focusing on the stories of women.

Davar speaking at the Quest for Quality conference 2018

How many testers have felt that they haven’t been involved early enough in product development? We don’t want to repeat this for AI. We want the testing community to be involved early on as we shape this future.

“We are excited to join forces with IVOW AI to make the first steps in bringing inclusiveness and quality to the future of our technological society. This collaborative project will offer multiple opportunities for the global software testing community to learn and be involved in a hands-on project making a positive impact on humanity,” says Anna Royzman of Test Master Academy in New York.

Together with the nonprofit AI Commons, and Test Master Academy in New York City, we are in pre-launch phase of a global challenge to crowdsource an algorithm that generates data on the stories of women in history, culture, science, and technology.

Building culturally inclusive models is vital. To do that, we need a diverse coalition of global experts in data, AI, cultural anthropology, ethics, and engineering. Collecting culturally prominent datasets in an efficient and scalable manner today is paramount to future commercial success. We understand the complex nature of the problem, and we believe that deep collaboration, diversity, and transparency will lead to best outcomes.

We all have a role in designing this new future. AI must understand cultural context and be able to respond to it effectively. If we have the ingenuity to make self-driving cars, we can and must make the interactions between humans and machines more empathetic and inclusive.

Aprajita Mathur is a leading bioinformatics software test engineer and one of the organizers of our women’s dataset challenge. Mathur says culturally relevant datasets are crucial in the medical sciences. “Each human is not just figuratively but also literally unique,” Mathur said. “‘One-size-fits-all’ approaches and treatments may be very successful for some patients, but not for others.”

The concept of personalization is as important in AI as it is in medicine. Building Al systems with cultural content is akin to starting the Precision Medicine Initiative, Mathur said.

“Someday my great-great-granddaughter will ask, ‘Google, why do Indians wear a red dot on their foreheads?’” she said. “I want the answer to be truly reflective of her ancestry and include the emotions that I would feel in answering that question, rather than the one-size-fits-all answer that it’s common practice to do so.”

Tracy Monteith is an Eastern Band Cherokee and Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft. Being a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee meant that he grew up in a matriarchal society with mythology that was nurtured by women. It has been his life-long quest to help preserve Cherokee culture to not only survive, but thrive through the written and spoken language.  In 2012, after a 20-year journey, he lead the effort to add the Cherokee language to both Windows and Office. Most recently he leveraged AI to translate the Cherokee language as a way of hearing, seeing, and understanding the voices of our ancestors.

Reflecting on the dataset challenge Tracy Monteith says, “We need a global-denominator of perspective that becomes more inclusive and valuable with each and every contribution. The way tribal people think globally is muted, even though our first-voices are indistinguishable from the natural order of the earth.”

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us and consider contributing as one of our first Founding Members. Our crowdfunding campaign begins November 14 – January 2020. Your contribution will play a vital part in creating this pioneering dataset challenge. This is the first of ten global AI and Storytelling challenges between 2019-2029 that will introduce global stories to AI and advance Cultural IQ in AI models.

“The theme of this challenge is an extremely fitting introduction to the global AI and Storytelling challenge series that IVOW.AI plans to hold in the next decade. The stories of women comprise integral components within any comprehensive cultural context, and they are especially resonant within the field of Computer Science,” says Professor Ioannis Kakadiaris, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at the University of Houston.”

Ana Šekerija; Banker Turned Tester!

Ana, we look forward to meeting you at the 2019 conference, especially to hearing your talk!

We’d like for you to share some awesomeness with our delegates to help them know you a bit before they meet you for real in Dublin;

“I am a 28-year-old software tester from Croatia who started her career in a Bank. While working in a big corporation was a great experience and an amazing opportunity to learn (especially for a first “real” job) I felt that my career path there was driving me away from my interests – so I applied for a QA job, got it, and never looked back. Working in IT industry without formal tech education (I have a masters degree in Economics) requires a lot of learning (and a lot of patience from my tech colleagues:) but working on fintech projects allows me to combine this knew knowledge with the one acquired on university and I enjoy it very much so far.

When I’m not catching bugs, I enjoy reading (anything from comics and horror stories ( a huuuuge Stephen King fan here!) to classical literature and agile testing books), travelling (as often and as far as I can), cooking and spending time with my dog.

On my career aspirations, hmmmm…this is always the hardest question for me because the most truthful answer would be – I have no idea 🙂 While I was in the university I never saw myself as an IT person but here I am now, loving every moment of it. The best plan I can think of is following my interests passionately (data analytics, agile, quality assurance) and looking forward to the places where they land me.

In the last 12 months I have been assigned full time on an Agile project and made the transition from traditional software development cycle to agile development. It was very challenging to find tester’s place in agile development and to organize the testing processes so they can be completed in short iterations. Sometimes it felt like the tester’s role in agile framework was misunderstood and there was a time when I didn’t understand it well either 🙂 But with a lot of learning – books, conferences, courses, talks, articles, blogs and our own retrospectives, now I feel that the whole team embraces responsibility for the quality of our product and that the testing process is much more mature. There is still a lot of things to learn ahead of us and I’m looking forward to them 🙂

Besides work, I’ve started a Women’s studies program and, best of all, adopted a dog 🙂 Since she is a pretty big (and stubborn) one, we enrolled a dog training program – so it has been a rather busy year, but a productive and happy one.

Some ‘Ana and her dog’ moments

We’ve started Selenium workshop in Infinum and it is a great place to learn a lot on automatization, but since I have been all over the place this year, I’m laying behind with my home assignments – my ambition is to catch up with them until the end of the year!

I will be talking about collecting the data on app-usage and using that data properly. My talk will mostly be oriented on mobile applications, but most of it can be applied to web apps as well. The main thing I want to share is the mistakes we made and the problems we encounter and how we handled them. Since we are building the app from scratch in an ever-changing agile process, it’s very important to define what will be tracked, when and how. Also, it is very important to keep all analytics up to date since we are adding and removing features, screens, buttons and tabs almost daily – and the data we collect is helping us making decision on it.

To make sure we are having the right data the whole team, but QA especially, needs to be sure that all necessary changes on analytics have been made before each release. After the app has been released and users start using it, it’s important that the data has been analyzed and turned to the information used for the right purposes – learning more about our customers, their needs and ways they are using the application. If we leave that data to be just some numbers in the sheets that we sometimes extract and turn into the reports and dashboards for stakeholders, we are making a huge mistake. This data can be used as headlights on a bumpy road – leading us to where we want to go and lighting our way.

Ana & the Infinum team

Testers, and especially agile testers, play a great role in taking the initiative to collect and use that data properly. If you make sure the right data is being collected and that is being collected properly and if you use it the right way you can have extremely valuable insight into your customer’s behaviour. It will make your testing better, your app more user friendly and your customer much more satisfied.

This year I attended the TestCon conference in Moscow and met a lot of great people there and heard great stories on QA, so the first idea to attend a conference as a speaker rather than a listener emerged there. In the meantime, we started implementing analytics on our project and since I was very passionate about it, I created internal workshop for our team. After the workshop, my team lead sent me a link to Q4Q2019 call for papers and a smiley (he himself has been speaker on Q4Q2017 and told us a lot about how great an experience it was). I was a bit nervous about it, but realized that if I attend, I have an amazing opportunity to learn, meet new people and have a completely new experience – so I applied and here we are 🙂

When it comes to testing-related websites, Ministry of Testing is definitely my favourite one – it offers so much talks, courses, articles and podcasts and you can find so much information on any testing-related topic that you can think of. Other tech websites that I like to follow/read are TechRadar, The Verge and Medium – but there are a lot more. And I have a subscription on The Economist, to stay connected with my primary profession.

As for the influencers, I like to read from Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory to keep me on track with Agile testing news. Alan Richardson, Michael Bolton and Gojko Adzic are always interesting as well.

I also follow Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Skinner and Christina Warren, to name a few.

Connect with me by following me on LinkedIn and other social networks.

Read ‘Capsized Eight’ (Infinum’s blog) ​https://infinum.co/the-capsized-eight or subscribe to Retrospective Fudge ​https://infinum.co/retrospective-fudge – a fresh agile-related news curated by our QA and PM team.

Well, I’m very much looking forward to meeting new people at Q4Q, but at first, I seem a bit shy and quiet – I do hope that doesn’t stay in the way of making new connections (and friendships…why not) 🙂 “

Speaker’s Spotlight – Mathew Lodge

We are delighted to e-Troduce Mathew Lodge, one of the speakers on the AI aspect of this year’s conference!

Team Q4Q:

“Mathew, we would like to know you beyond the brief profile on the website, tell us about yourself and your aspirations.”

Mathew Lodge:

“I’ve been building and managing software and hardware for well over 25 years and have done everything from writing code that flies on the Space Station to connecting 6 countries to the Internet for the first time to building and launching VMware’s cloud infrastructure service. Most recently I ran product for Anaconda, a pioneer in Python/R data science and AI, and joined Diffblue earlier this year.

Outside of work I am a keen photographer and my work appear in books, magazines, newspapers, restaurants, homes, and offices.

I’m delighted to have joined Diffblue! There’s such a great opportunity to make developers more productive by having AI write code that can be automated, focusing developers on the things that only they can write.

I hope to be CEO of a hugely successful AI start-up! More seriously, it would be great to see more companies producing AI-based tooling for code, because that will make AI-written code the norm.

I started coding at the age of 10 and was hooked. I learned BASIC, Pascal and assembler early on, did a computer science degree and first learned of AI there. Fast forward to today, and the same AI I learned about at university can now be done a million times faster on a million times more data for a fraction of the cost. It’s a great time to be in this industry.

At the Q4Q conference, I‘m talking about how AI is eating software – in that AI is now taking on a role that previously would have been hand-crafted code. AI-written tests are something new in the testing world, so I wanted to talk to a real application of that at Goldman Sachs.

It’s great to see the latest and greatest approaches and what’s working, and to meet leading practitioners in the industry.

On influencers, I spend a lot of time reading. Twitter has been a really great resource for learning about things I normally would not see, and finding interesting people who are doing cool things. That leads to reading articles that link to other articles and so on down the chain. And I also get to meet a lot of the people in real life and learn new things from them.

My twitter handle is a good place to start, and there’s also our company blog and webinars.

Free Ticket Inside – Take Your Pick From Our Pool of Limitless Talks at #Q4Q2019!

At #Q4Q2019 conference, we have a line up options…a pool of limitless options! So take your pick from the agenda!

Here’s our question for the moment;

What’s your passion?


– Present day tech trends?

– Futuristic thrills?


The talks at #Q4Q2019 were selected to provide a holistic coverage on all of the above!



We’re attaching a free ticket to this one;

We’ll look our for responses till 3pm on Monday the 4th of November!

First response with a correct or a close-enough-to-the-correct answer for at least 3 talks gets a free 2-day pass to the conference! Grants access to all conference features!