Tell me about your journey to joining Accenture. 

Laura profilePrior to joining Accenture, I worked in research in the area of food and analytical science. I loved the variety of the work as a researcher, which included lab work but also programming, data analysis, and communication, both via oral presentations and in the form of peer-reviewed papers. I was very motivated but loved the idea of doing something new that could be useful. I still have the same motivation working in The Dock.

Tell me about the work you do

My main focus area over the last two years has been algorithmic fairness which is a really interesting area, at the intersection of data science with many other sciences such as social, ethics and legal sciences. It has become quite an important area as applications of AI become more widespread and especially to areas with direct implications for human lives. As technologists, I believe it is very important that we build AI systems in an ethical and responsible way.

What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on and what made it so exciting?

Recently we worked on an engagement with a financial services client where we worked on-site to quantitatively assess two of the models for potential bias. This has been a great experience for us, to understand in detail the challenges of applying the state of the art fairness metrics and bias mitigation algorithms in a real industry setting. The experience helped us to better understand the limitations of some of the approaches while at the same time it afforded us the opportunity to collaborate hand in hand with the client to design and implement practical solutions to some of these challenges.

I love the fact that we work in multidisciplinary teams, interacting daily with colleagues from different backgrounds
What’s a day-in-the-life like at Accenture? 

The day to day is actually quite varied depending on the phase of the project. In the earlier phases of a project, I do a lot of of desk research and I also attend more team meetings. In the exploration and build phases, I spend a lot of time writing code, making sense of results and also sharing outputs with the team and brainstorming around problems.

What do you like the most about working at Accenture?

The Dock is a great place for learning and development. I am constantly learning from my bright colleagues and I love the fact that we work in multidisciplinary teams interacting daily with colleagues from different backgrounds such as design and humanities. I also like the fact that I get to do research and we work across different industries.

What advice would you give to someone interested in the work you do?

Be ready to be constantly learning and welcome challenges as opportunities to learn and develop. Communication and collaboration with your team is key to a successful project and when it comes to technical solutions, make sure the solution fits in with the business question it aims to address.

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