Interview with Lisa Lozza -Technical Area Leader Data Science
My team? I always know they will make it!
14th October 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes
Lisa Lozza, class of 1993, a graduate in Mathematical Engineering, has been working at Oròbix for seven years, since she chose us for her internship.
Today, she is in charge of a team of sixteen people engaged every day to develop and deploy artificial intelligence projects for different sectors, including manufacturing and healthcare.
"By chance I came across the opportunity to do a six-month internship at Oròbix. It was 2015. There I figured out what to do for my master's degree: applied statistics + AI and Deep Learning. I worked here part-time for the duration of university, and that definitely helped me understand the great concreteness of an AI project."
What does artificial intelligence mean to you today?
AI is a great challenge for business and society and an extraordinary opportunity to push the boundaries.
It can have different kinds of impact: in the life science field where it can give a major boost to research, of course, but also in manufacturing where the results are even faster to achieve, ensuring excellent performance for business.
In any case, what I am most interested in is the improvement in people’s quality of life and work that the development of artificial intelligence projects can bring.
Can you give us an example?
For a client we worked on quality control in the production of glass components.
Until the implementation of our solutions, this activity was completely carried out by women-very competent and precise-who had to do meticulous and even tiring (especially for their backs and eyesight) work every day in handling these heavy objects.
With our solution, this task is now fully automated, safeguarding people from physical labour and involving them in other more valuable activities.
This could never be possible without the precious cooperation with these women and the other company employees.
A simple example that concretizes one of the point of our Manifesto: “WE BELIEVE that AI is a tool humans can leverage to foster life, work, wealth and individual progress. WE CODE for people, not for machines.”
So AI will not steal our jobs?
[She smiles and shakes her head]
No. First of all, because on its own it is not that smart! AI can’t do everything, there is a lot of human work behind it. We are there, working together with companies and its people, building the models, monitoring and improving them over time.
And before that we carefully listen our stakeholders in order to understand the needs and support the companies that rely on us. Results also come from good communication between the players and the cooperation of everyone. I believe, rather, that all this ennobles people.
Teamwork is therefore crucial. What characteristics do the data scientists on your team have?
[she takes a moment to think about it]
First of all, we are tenacious! Can you say?
We don’t give up if things don’t work the first time. We know how to fall and most importantly we know how to get back up. We always learn from our mistakes.
With data we have to stay focused, persist, not to be satisfied with a sub-optimal result but keep trying. I think this has something to do with resilience: data scientists know what it is.
[Lisa’s eyes fill with pride]
In the beginning there were three of us on the team. We had very different training and background but we could share doubts and uncertainties and we were lucky to be able to study and improve together.
What really connected us was our determination not to give up, the consciousness that technologies do not work right away and must be patiently trained and monitored, always trying to go one step further.
So, what is your strength?
The Data Science Team has grown a lot in the last few years, but even with the recent Covid-19 pandemic situation, we continue to be a closely-knit team – also thanks to the time spent sharing some drinks and educational opportunities – we have learnt to ask for help, to trust each other, and to continuously stimulate each other in order to learn something new.
Even though we work from different locations – Oròbix has three branches (Bergamo, Brescia, Rovereto) – and we spend almost half of our time working remotely, I try to periodically create opportunities for us to compare the work we are developing, keep each other aligned on the latest technological innovations in our field, and support each other when tasks are very complex and someone is accusing a bit of fatigue.
But I always know they will make it!
This summer we attended Pycon IT. Spending a few days together studying and talking about the things we love, sharing the journey, the dinners, the nights, enhanced our relationship and our ability to communicate together effectively. This definitely has a positive impact on the quality of our work.
For these reasons, I think that the primary skills for an aspiring Data Scientist are passion and open-mindedness. Without these, at the first obstacle you give up rather than persist. AI really educates us to keep going and here, at Oròbix, we are definitely tenacious!
Apart from the team, what connects you to Oròbix?
I like the real application of AI and the way AI solutions really improve the quality of production and the way people work in their companies, and I enjoy watching the satisfaction of our customers and the guys and girls in my team when they achieve a good result or solve a problem.
You know, we are still young and we have not yet found our place in the world, but here it‘ s a bit like family: we can rely on genuine teamwork, open and problem-solving communication and the desire of all to do better and better.
AI supports people, improves human work and creates shared well-being. How is it possible not to have the ambition to be part of this?