NEW YORK (PIX11) – A mother and daughter are on a mission to help women of color break into tech in New York.
“You know what excites me? Two Latinas in a basement with an idea and a computer,” said Joanna Peña-Bickley.
Peña-Bickley, a Harlem Latina, says AI can bring the community together, and be used for social good. They have a company helping women and girls break into the fields of design and tech.
Peña-Bickley is behind some inventions you may be using right now, from Alexa to streaming video. Now she is on a mission with her daughter Rachel to create the next generation of inventors of our time.
Peña-Bickley has been called by many, “The Mother of Cognitive Experience Design,” and a pioneer in AI.
She said her dyslexia propelled her to create inventions that now changed the way we shop, bank, and listen to music. Peña-Bickley created one of the first streaming video players, designed the first banking app on the Apple Watch for Citibank, and helped invent the new AI-powered Alexa devices at Amazon.
She said she is just getting started, and she is joining forces with her daughter Rachel Bickley.
Their organization, called the Designedbyus Design Corps, was started to help cultivate the next generation of female entrepreneurs, with a focus on empowering BIPOC communities.
Together they are launching a pilot program at Mesa Charter School in Bushwick.
Peña-Bickley said instead of fearing AI, she sees hope and inclusion. She believes new technologies can be powerful tools for social justice. The duo’s plan is to expand the program to every school in New York.