Conversations on Applied AI - Stories from Experts in Artificial Intelligence

Danika Hannon - The Impact of Quantum Computing on Artificial Intelligence

April 07, 2021 Justin Grammens Season 1 Episode 17
Conversations on Applied AI - Stories from Experts in Artificial Intelligence
Danika Hannon - The Impact of Quantum Computing on Artificial Intelligence
Show Notes Transcript

We've all heard the hype about Quantum Computing, but what does it really mean for Artificial Intelligence? In this episode, Danika Hannon breaks down what Quantum Computing is, how it's different from classical computing, and discusses real-world use cases of how it's going to change the landscape of what we'll be able to do with AI in the future.

We also discuss women in technology and her work with a number of organizations such as Women in Quantum that are helping to be a resource for women to collaborate and have fun with fellow female quantum academics, students, entrepreneurs, investors, and government representatives. Danika continues to give back through her work with Girls on the Run and helping women have more confidence in life.

If you are interested in learning about how AI is being applied across multiple industries, be sure to join us at a future AppliedAI Monthly meetup and help support us so we can make future Emerging Technologies North non-profit events! 

Resources and Topics Mentioned in this Episode

Your host,
Justin Grammens

Danika Hannon  0:00  
I look at quantum computing as an engine for AI being able to take us places where we couldn't before, because with quantum computing, there's a couple of advantages that it has over classical computers, where quantum computers can analyze more data than classical computers can. And they can also do it faster than a classical computer can. So that opens up all of these problem areas that we couldn't really dive into before because we didn't have the computing power for it. 

AI Announcer  0:29  
Welcome to the conversations on applied AI podcast where Justin Grammens and the team at Emerging Technologies North talk with experts in the fields of artificial intelligence and deep learning. In each episode, we cut through the hype and dive into how these technologies are being applied to real world problems today. We hope that you find this episode educational and applicable to your industry and connect with us to learn more about our organization at applied Enjoy.

Justin Grammens  1:00  
Welcome to the conversations on applied AI podcast. In this episode, we speak with Danica Hannon, Danica is a serial entrepreneur and relationship builder. She is currently leading machine learning and natural language processing projects for compliance at moneygram. International. She's also the head of, where her team is using AI and quantum computing to help farmers optimize their resource use so they can lower their operating costs. She is the CO organizer of the Minnesota quantum computing meetup and a senior advisor on the women and quantum advisory board. Danica Hannan is an active part of the quantum computing community. So thank you, Danica, so happy to have you here today. Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you for the invite Justin. Awesome. So I mean, I touched a little bit on sort of your your background, where have you been? Where's your lot of your time focused today? And what part of AI and stuff like that? Are you doing, I guess, at this moment, and what's been the trajectory of your career to get you to where you're at? Yeah. So I'll start with the trajectory of the career it is not been straightforward.

Danika Hannon  1:59  
The slightest, so a few years ago, I started getting really interested in quantum computing. And I was like, You know what, this space is really interesting. I want to be doing more here. And when I was figuring out how I could move into quantum computing, I realized I need to code. So I was looking at going into a software engineering boot camp. And then as I started networking with people, I was talking to this gentleman one day who said, Have you ever thought about a data science bootcamp? I had never even heard of data science. So when he started telling me about data science, I actually started laughing, because I thought it was too good to be true. Yeah, I thought he was making a joke. I thought he was completely joking. And he just kind of paused and looked at me that it really is too serious. I was like, Okay, I'll listen, I'll take you seriously. And it felt like someone gave me keys to open a door that I didn't even know existed. So it just opened up this whole new career path into AI. And the way I found my way here was through networking. So now, like you'd mentioned, the projects that I'm working on for money, Graham, around machine learning and natural language processing. And I'm doing a really exciting project where I'm looking at feedback that our customers are giving us and trying to really crack that open, and figure out what are they thinking and what are they feeling? And it can we take their reactions, and reviews? And can we look at our software releases and see how they're responding to changes? How can we really bring it together that human element of what people are thinking and feeling when they use our technology to the technical piece, and the different releases that we're going through? So it's not been a straightforward path. But it's been a lot of fun. So when you first talk to this person about data science, what was the timeline? Like how like, What year was it? Yeah, that was 2018. And it was 2018. So then in 2019, I started going through the data science boot camp, and that was through the summer of 2019. through the winter. So it's very recent, all of this came together quickly. Yeah, no, that's, that's exciting. You know, it's funny, I was just thinking about this last week, you mentioned about, you know, ending up in your career in terms of what you're doing today. And I mentioned, I mentioned before, in the past, I have two young boys, they're in first, first and third grade. And so you know, I like to sometimes ask them, What are you going to do when you grow up? But I also think about what I thought I'd be doing, and and where I'm where I am today is nowhere near where I thought I would be for sure. And I think that's a testament to I guess, you know, what's possible with technology today? Oh, absolutely. You know, I was I was joking with my mom. So you're talking about my career path. And she said, you know, your career hasn't been linear at all. And I said, You're right. It went off the graph a long time ago.

Justin Grammens  4:30  
Yeah, exactly. Well, that's but you know, what it makes it fun makes it enhance. I mean, obviously, at the end of my life, I want to be able to look back and I mean, I think knowledge is power. And the more you can learn during this lifetime, probably the better you're going to feel.

Danika Hannon  4:43  
Yeah, absolutely.

Justin Grammens  4:45  
And so, you know, it's cool that you were talking about getting sentiment, I guess, pseudo sentiment, I guess, in some ways, you know, with regards to how people are utilizing their stuff, because I work a lot and you know, kind of Internet of Things, right? So, and we work with a major appliance manufacturer and we're We're starting to get well, we have been getting a lot of interesting data coming off of home appliances, especially during this time of COVID. Oh, cool, and just usage patterns and stuff like that. And I tell us to a lot of people, it feels like any product you have, you can survey the heck out of your customers, but you don't really you're not really getting the true story, right, the more you can understand real data on how they're using it, probably. That's that that to me can really help you build sort of the next generation of products in a way is that the approach that you're sort of taking as you're taking all this data in?

Danika Hannon  5:31  
Yeah, absolutely. So MoneyGram is a company has been really focused on going through digital transformation. And they've been doing that for a few years now. And we're at a really exciting point where the first couple years, the digital transformation, I felt like we weren't seeing, seeing major results in terms of the app was still pretty much the same, the website presence was the same. But they were doing a lot of the background work of updating legacy systems going through the hard work of figuring out how do we lay a really good foundation so that it can take us far. And now in the last couple of years, we've gotten to such an exciting point where we are getting the updated version of the app, we are getting an updated website presence, and we're really starting to see the rewards of this digital transformation. So to your point about the data, now that we are looking at things more creatively, and we're so focused on the digital space, we can figure out what are people saying and instead of relying on? Well, I think, based like a handful of us, this is what people are saying we can look at 1000s of them. And I think that we can get more interesting insights that we can get more data driven decisions, which is so important to stay competitive and to really connect with people,

Justin Grammens  6:41  
for sure. For sure. Excellent. Cool. Well, it sounds like yeah, you're you'd like that human element, that human side of your of your job.

Danika Hannon  6:48  
Yeah, you know, the human side is my favorite. I love coding, the technology that underlies both AI and quantum computing is absolutely fascinating. But at the end of the day, if it doesn't tie back to people somehow that it's, it's not as valuable, at least at least for the perspective that I look at. So there has to be a tie into people somehow, because people are so interesting.

Justin Grammens  7:13  
Yeah, for sure, for sure. We are unique creatures. Well, one of the one of the things I like to ask people is like maybe what are a few words that maybe that would describe you? If you were Yeah, thinking about yourself?

Danika Hannon  7:24  
Absolutely. I am empathetic, and achiever and futuristic. So for the empathy. I really like trying to figure out what are people thinking and feeling I especially love working with people from different cultures, different industries to try and think about, what's their background? Like? What's their day to day life? Like? And how is that impacting the decisions they make, how they're reacting to things, what they have demand for what they're interested in. So it's really fun on the MTA side to think about what drives people, what are they interested in? From the achiever standpoint, I really like to be busy. I do a lot of volunteer work. So Senior Advisor for woman and quantum I co organizer of the Minnesota quantum computing meetup, it's really important to me to get out there in the community. And to get back in the Minnesota Twin Cities area, we have an incredible tech community. And I've gotten to listen to so many great presentations that over the years, it was like, This is such a cool thing that we have, I really want to contribute to it and to help it grow. And then for futuristic, I really like thinking about what's next. So as you look at all these different AI trends of what could happen with quantum computing, and we look at major challenges that we're facing, like climate change, population growth, how can we use this incredible technology that we have to really solve our most pressing problems and make life a little bit better for everyone? Excellent. Yeah.

Justin Grammens  8:47  
Well said for sure. That's, that's awesome. You know, you touched a little bit on what's the power of AI and quantum computing. And how I ask people on the program, maybe give me a concise description of what they think AI is, right? If you're in an elevator with somebody, do you have a short description that you typically use?

Danika Hannon  9:03  
Yeah, you know, I've actually never been asked this question. So it's not the first me I had to think about it a little bit when I was looking over the interview prep. I look at AI as a really powerful tool that can help us make connections we probably want to get otherwise. One of the most interesting use cases I've ever read about for AI was this doctor who was working with soldiers who had PTSD would come back for more than PTSD they're trying to get through. He analyzed their voice files, and he used AI to look for patterns, their voice files, and he found out that soldiers with PTSD would elongate their vowels. So when they spoke, her vowels were just a little bit longer than people who didn't have PTSD. And he started to use that to screen for soldiers who had these issues, but were maybe masking them and maybe weren't getting the help that they needed so that they could start getting the treatment and really getting their lives back on track. And that's such Interesting story. And it's such a great way to look at what person could figure that out on their own. And could they argue that in a way that the medical system would start paying attention? So I think that AI in a nutshell can help us find new insights and patterns that we couldn't find on our own. And it can really improve things and make things better and open doors that weren't possible to open even 10 to 10 years ago.

Justin Grammens  10:24  
Yeah, yeah, for sure. No, I love those stories. And you know, if we can apply it back to, again, the human side, to help people for sure, all the better. Yeah. And you know, you The other thing you talked about was climate change. Right. And I know, one of the companies that you're involved with at bolt is, is actually doing just that, right. Maybe you want to talk a little bit about what's going on with that company?

Danika Hannon  10:44  
Yeah, absolutely. So bolts is really interesting, because they're looking at how they can help farmers improve their yields. And they're not just looking at a single piece of data, like weather or soil conditions, they're really trying to look at everything, which is fun, because right now, the AI space of farming is very crowded. But what we're seeing is, it seems like companies are focusing on a single data grouping. And they, they can't really pull together a lot of different types of data, because classical computers are limited, and how much they can process. When we pull in quantum computers, neutrino can process a lot more data than a classical computer can, that opens things up in some really fun ways. So with bolts, one of the things that they can do to help address climate change is they can help farmers use less resources, while also improving their yields. So there's a lot of promise there. And it can really be globally scalable, because you can, you can tailor this to all different countries and the crop types that you're looking at. And if you make these little changes that get implemented every day, over the course of a year, and then years and over multiple continents, multiple types of crops, you can make some very big changes. And that will really help us and things like with the fight against climate change, and being smarter about how we're using our resources, making sure that our farming practices are environmentally friendly, and helping us have a brighter future. Sure,

Justin Grammens  12:11  
exactly. And like you said, it's, uh, you know, no one human, or even a group of humans could probably have have done this, right, we sort of need this technology to be able to do all this analysis. So cool. It sounds like yeah, you're involved with some and know about some very interesting projects, I guess, around around data. And yeah, who would have thought in 2018? I guess, you know, for for you thinking, Oh, wow. And now I'm involved in all this cool technology and doing doing fun stuff here. Yeah, it

Danika Hannon  12:36  
was certainly a curve I, the path has never been straightforward. has not always been easy. But you know, it's been so fun. And it's just been so rewarding. And I'm really excited to see what comes next. Good. Good.

Justin Grammens  12:51  
So what's a day in the life of a person in your in your role?

Danika Hannon  12:55  
Yeah. So there's a couple big things that I focus on. And the first one is, I try and figure out what problem can I solve next? I've already got something that I'm, like, halfway through, that's really good. I know, we need to get to the finish line. But that's the point where I start looking around and it's like, Okay, what else is out there? What else can we tinker with? How can we look at the problems that we have in the tools we've got and pair them together and really do something interesting and funny here. And then I also really like thinking about my network and the health of my network and how the people in it are doing so there's a gentleman who the other day recommended a new series of quantum computing videos, and like, I'm going to dive into that this weekend. But now I've got an earmark of like trying to good book recommendation for him. So there's a lot of give and take. And I really like thinking about what are the people in my network doing? How can I help them out? Is there anybody that I can plug other people into? Because that's I know, we've talked about it already. But that's the people piece that makes it so much fun is thinking about what do people need? And how can I help them achieve their goals?

Justin Grammens  13:53  
Excellent. Very good. Well, you are so are you diving into code still these days? Are you thinking more at a strategic level? Obviously, maybe you do a little bit of both? I mean, I know for me, personally, I enjoy going deep and learning a new technology. But then also, you know, stepping back and seeing what's on the horizon.

Danika Hannon  14:09  

Justin Grammens  14:10  
what do you find yourself doing mostly,

Danika Hannon  14:11  
you know, it's a mix of both for moneygram. I'm very in the code, it's hands on with that natural language processing project that I'm working on. To get a better understanding of our customers. I am a one woman project. Everything for that, which I love. And that is a very hands on with the code. And when I do work for bolts, and with the woman and quantum. That's strategic. That's looking at 5000 foot view, where are we at? And where do we need to go?

Justin Grammens  14:39  
Excellent, cool. Yeah, no, it's I love having a mix. And that's going back to maybe what I said at the beginning, you know, what did I think I'd be doing today? I certainly, I guess no years ago, while I was in college, I was very focused on you know, I was studying math and physics and stuff like that. And I kind of thought I'd be in more of a cube cube farm, I guess these days, but now, I'm sort of all over the place, right. I'm doing a podcast. Cuz I find this stuff very interesting and fascinating. I'm an entrepreneur, I've started a couple different businesses and, and I even write code, you know, for various platforms. So yeah, I think it's really fun to keep that variety. Oh, it's like you, you would agree.

Danika Hannon  15:13  
Yeah, you know, it keeps things really refreshing. And especially with how quickly Our world is changing, it makes a lot of sense to try and spread your feelers out and keep a pulse on what's interesting to you, what is the market demanding? and try and find that sweet spot? And it's just fun.

Justin Grammens  15:29  
Yeah, for sure. So as you think about yourself, and maybe you look at some of the other people that through your network, or you know, whether it be people that are, you know, well known or not so well known. Is there anybody that comes to mind that maybe if you could be anyone for a day, what person that might be and sort of who's somebody you look up to in the industry, or even just in general?

Danika Hannon  15:48  
Yeah, there's this woman. She is the president of woman and quantum, and she recently moved to ion Q and she's the new Vice President of Business Development. Her name is Denise Ruffner, she is fascinating. She originally had a background in the biochemistry space, and she moved into. So through your career, she ended up moving to IBM and really leading out there quantum computing arm and building up that program. Now she's moved on to ion Q, which is another quantum computing company. And it seems like Denise knows everybody. He is so good at connecting people. And what's really, really cool about her is that if she sees someone who she feels like you have really good potential, if we just gave you a platform, you could really go far. Then she'll do that. She'll give them that platform, she'll connect them to people who she thinks could have valuable opportunities. She connected me to the bolts AI team, with woman, a quantum, she really makes a point to find people who are doing interesting research, but maybe not giving the getting that public exposure and getting them into our summits, to talk and to give presentations and to really get connected to that global quantum community. So if I could be anyone for a day, I will be Denise just because her career path has been so interesting. And I really admire the way that she lifts people up. Yeah,

Justin Grammens  17:08  
yeah, for sure. Sounds like she's, uh, I guess the term I was thinking of was a enabler. Yeah. So so she she sees promising people and helps to enable them to get even better. So very cool. Very cool. I like that. Now, you've mentioned quantum a number of times here, and I just sort of off the cuff thinking like, maybe our listeners would like to know, maybe a little bit more about quantum itself, I guess. And then, you know, how do you see quantum computing relating to AI? Like, how do those things to sort of work together?

Danika Hannon  17:34  
Yeah, absolutely. So I'll start with a second question. First, I look at quantum computing as an engine for AI. And being able to take us places where we couldn't before because with quantum computing, there's a couple of advantages that it have, that it has over classical computers, where quantum computers can analyze more data than classical computers can. And they can also do it faster than a classical computer can. So that opens up all these problem areas that we couldn't really dive into before because we didn't have the computing power for it. So my sense is that we're going to start to see really fascinating things coming out in the next five to 10 years, where businesses can look at things even more holistically than they have before because they can start to combine all this different data. So if you were to think about a major hospital company, or major medical company, one of the things that I think that they could potentially do with quantum computing is they could look at the end to end process of how do we get a patient in? How do we look at all the beds that we have? How do we look at the resources for medicine? How do we look at the doctors that we've got on staff? Who do we? How do we triage as quickly if we think about the illnesses that they have? How do we fit them in, get them better, like address their issues as quickly as we can and then get them back out so that they can go on living their lives. So that's that would be a really big challenge to be able to look at things very holistically tie in your supply chain, your logistics, your patient care, customer service, and that would be a massive problem to tackle. It's one that would definitely be far off. I think it's more of the horizon of the potential of quantum computing versus something that we could do right now. But it would be something that'd be so interesting to look at. And I think it could really make some good changes for business and have very positive impacts on people's lives. And for real world use case that is getting looked at right now. One of the most interesting crossovers between a basic problem that we have in a very real impact on quality of life is traffic. And so Volkswagen is working with quantum computing companies to optimize their traffic flows. And when I say optimize, I mean make it better. So get people home faster when they're going home from work. If you have a busing route, get people teacher their stops faster. So Volkswagen is doing that and tie in with Volkswagen and the work that they're doing to make traffic flow that faster. There's this study that was done out in California where this university looked at traffic jams on the highways, and they found a link between the domestic violence and traffic jams. And it's like, if the traffic jam was below 45 minutes, then there wouldn't be a spike in domestic violence. But if it was, if it went over 45 minutes, and over an hour, then there was a significant spike in domestic violence, those people got frustrated sitting in traffic, and they wanted to get home or their anchor bill, because maybe they got cut off by someone, there was a significant chance that when they went home, someone in the household would experience that. And so if you look at if we can solve things that seem pretty insignificant in some ways, like traffic, we can actually have really big impacts on things like what people experience when they go home. And there's such a ripple effect that comes out of what your quality of life is like. So it's a very, very human thing. Yeah, sure. And I think it's a really fascinating area to look at, because traffic seems so minor, especially when you look at it compared to climate change, or looking through looking at medical breakthroughs. But when you start to think about, okay, well, how does that impact how people feel? And then how does that impact how they act towards their family members, when they get home? If you start to look at how things are really interconnected? On the emotional side, that's when some very interesting stuff comes out. That is maybe not immediately apparent, but has a very, very real impact on what's going on in our world.

Justin Grammens  21:48  
Yeah, cool. No, I that's that's a that's a great example. Now, as I was thinking about quantum, so I was just kind of like, ran through my head, hey, let's say quantum was invented 50 years ago, right? Let's say we had the computing power to do all this stuff. But a case could be made that we, we didn't have the data at that time either, too, right? So we kind of is that fair to say, we need to have, we needed to get everything online, digitize the world, I think in some ways that kind of needed to happen first, in order for us to see the power of quantum computing.

Danika Hannon  22:16  
Yeah, I would completely agree with that. And quantum computers are built for large, challenging problems. And as much as I'm a champion of quantum, I have to admit that there are problems that will not be suited for a quantum computer. And there there absolutely problems for classical computers will outperform a quantum computer every time. And that's something that we know about. So I think you're absolutely right, this is coming about at the perfect time, because we do have this stuff digitize, we are starting to get really massive amounts of data. And now we have tools that can process it. So it's probably a blessing that it's happening now versus 50 years ago, because it probably would have been too early for the market and too early for where we were at in the world.

Justin Grammens  23:00  
Yeah, it's it's interesting how technology, just, you know, you can invent technology decades earlier. And you don't really realize the application of it until, you know, until a whole bunch of other things happen. And then all of a sudden, it's like, oh, remember this thing that we did a while back? Now we can apply this? Yes. I've seen that in a number of different other areas. Absolutely. So as I think about the humanistic, you know, approach to just to some of this stuff, because it's sort of my thinking is, is we're now we're digitizing the world. We've got quantum computing, and we even have, you know, machine learning and some very advanced techniques around data analytics and AI going on, you know, how is that going to impact people's people's work? I guess, you know, if you take a look at what your job is, today, you're obviously on the side of making the, you know, making the intelligence smarter and smarter. Do you see what what your work is doing? Or even as you're looking across, and seeing all these other projects are going on? Like, you know, how would that affect people's work? You know, 10 years, 20 years down the road, do you think?

Danika Hannon  23:58  
Yeah, in all honesty, I think that AI is a very double edged sword. From the automation standpoint, there's going to be a lot of change coming up in terms of jobs that get impacted from the white collar, the white collar workforce. And before this, we know that automation largely impacted manufacturing the blue collar space, and now we're to a point where it's impacting the white collar space. Funny enough, I am a proponent of automation. So I actually end next week, I'm going to be so many requests to see if some of the work that I do for money gram can get automated because I really think that it can be Oh, I love to automate what I can so that I can then focus on more that the human to human connections that relationship building and put more time into that value added area. So I am concerned about the automation piece as much as I still champion it. I think that there's a lot of value there. That's definitely something to pay attention to and everyone has a need to keep a pulse on the Markets out there in, pay attention to what skills are in demand, how should they be moving, try and look forward if you can. But also, I think it's really good to help lift each other up, and to help give back wherever you can. So I do the volunteering for women in quantum and the Minnesota quantum computing meetup. But I also am on an associate board for a group called Girls on the Run. And they're all about teaching girls life skills, getting them healthy with exercise, and making sure that they can go out and they can live up to their full potential by getting the tools that they need to to be successful in our world. So as much as we have an obligation to take care of ourselves, and pay attention to what's going on in the marketplace and pay attention to things like AI, and automation that could be coming out of that I think we also have a responsibility to help each other out. Because there's going to be a lot of change in the coming years. And I am a proponent that it's going to be mostly good change. No optimist, I will I will find something to champion, I will find something good no matter what comes. But it's a double edged sword. And for the really beneficial side, I think that AI and the way it's taking off and continues to grow is just huge. Because our problems are getting more complex as we do look at things like climate change medical care, things that we've already touched on before. It's really exciting to see how AI can help us start tackling this. Excellent. Yeah,

Justin Grammens  26:29  
very, very good. You know, as you were talking, I was thinking about a prior person I had on the podcast, and he was talking about farmers and the fact that they are automating themselves out of a job in some ways, but it's a job that they didn't want, right? They don't want to drive the tractor, you know, 18 hour days up and down and turn it around, keep going back and forth. Right now. We have drive, you know, tractors that will do that for you. They're very efficient and very automated. And it's automating themselves out of a job. But like I said, it's it was a it was a menial job that they didn't really want.

Danika Hannon  27:00  
Yeah, so there's that interesting balance of how can we make things better? Like how can we get people freed up so that they can focus on what they really love, and what's really exciting for them. And, you know, there's a very interesting project that I read about it was team Proteus, and they use Internet of Things and AI to create the sensor devices for firefighters, that will track all the particulates in the air. And when the particulate levels of like carbon dioxide, small goes all the nasty stuff that can come out in a fire when those particular levels get too high, then IoT sensor device will start going off and I'll tell the firefighters, hey, you're in danger, you need to get out now. Because if you stay here, you're not only going to be endangering the people that you're trying to help, you're also going to be endangering yourself. So there's a lot of really bright ways that AI can help us do interesting things, whether that is freeing people up so that they can focus on what they really love doing instead of something menial, or making things safer, so that we can protect people.

Justin Grammens  28:05  
Yeah, for sure. For sure. Well, cool. Um, do you have any? You know, I'm not sure if you've taken any classes or any you mentioned going through the boot camp. But are there any books conferences, I guess, you know, other sources of material that you think people should take a look at as they start getting into this into a similar career that you're doing? I will say that I'll be listing all these links and stuff like that, in the liner notes of this when I when I post this, but yeah, do you have anything you wanted to share about that?

Danika Hannon  28:34  
Yeah, absolutely. We'll start off with the books. And there are a couple of great ones that come to mind. The first one I read years ago, and I recommend it to anyone who asked her good book to read. It's called a great on the job. And it's by a woman named Jody Glickman. And it's all about how you can communicate. So if you're, you're giving your boss bad news, or you're reaching out to someone in your cold calling. She has these scripts that you can follow for here's how you can structure the conversation. And they are really good. They've also been a lifesaver for me so many times over so Jody Glickman, and no matter where you're at in your career, her book, great on the job is a fantastic one to read. It is incredibly useful. And it's one of those rare books where you read the advice and you can start using it right away. I just love another book that was recommended to me recently. It's called atomic habits. And it's all about how if you're trying to make a change in your life, and maybe you want to move into AI, but you struggle with carving out studying time for yourself. This book talks about how you can break down what's going on in your life, find just little things that you can start changing. And now you can start stacking your habits on top of each other to get really big results. And that's been very powerful to help navigate all the change that's going on. So atomic habits and great on the job are two very reads that I'd recommend for anyone who wants to move into the AI space or is looking to make a career change, but could use some coaching on what's an effective way to do that?

Justin Grammens  30:08  
Excellent. Yeah, no, I'm familiar with atomic habits. I am a huge audible listener. So I highly recommend that book on Audible to listen to and you probably know there you can actually sign up for his newsletter, I think is James clear. And he will actually send you habits. I think it's every day nice. So it's it's he's got this three to one thing that he does, where he finds quotes that are interesting that people have done and kind of down to the Africa with the to his, but the one is like, what is the one thing you want to focus on today? But yeah, very, very good. Just in just in general, you know, on how you can, you know, use these little I call them hacks, you know, in quotes, I guess, but these little hacks to sort of improve your productivity.

Danika Hannon  30:45  
Yeah, absolutely. Anything that can help is great. You know, we live in a complicated world where there is so much going on.

Justin Grammens  30:53  

Danika Hannon  30:55  
I love the idea of getting daily quotes for inspiration and a following. The coaching ladies got out there, every little bit helps. I'll definitely sign up for that newsletter. For sure.

Justin Grammens  31:04  
Cool. Well, I mean, outside of AI and your professional life, is there other fun things that you'd like to do on the side relaxing, or it sounds like you're pretty busy getting back?

Danika Hannon  31:14  
Yeah, you know, I love artwork. So I know our listeners can't see it. But I've got a dragon hung up behind me on the one corner tapestry that I inherited from my family A while ago, bind me and then just had a screen I've got a dollhouse that I'm repainting. So artwork is very calming, my house is filled with it. And it's really important to spend time around. So before COVID, close everything down. I used to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art once or twice a month. And I walk a fine line between being an introvert and extrovert, I love doing stuff like this and talking with people. But I also need a lot of time to recharge. So I used to go there on Friday nights when it's just empty,

Justin Grammens  31:57  
as just walk around,

Danika Hannon  31:59  
walk around, but on some headphones, listen to good music, just walk around. And it was so nice. And since COVID has shut shut that down what the museum has done. That's just the coolest, is they started doing a bunch of virtual tours. That's been a really nice way to stay connected to the art world, get that rejuvenation, get outside of my own head. Like I'm pretty things that are just fun to look at. And very relaxing. So I had to relax. I spend a lot of time around our work. It's good, good.

Justin Grammens  32:30  
Cool. That's good. That's the kind of work both sides of the brain I guess, right? Yeah, yeah, left side and right side, people need that balance. You know, I wanted to touch a little bit on sort of you being a woman and and sort of women in technology or women in science, you know, stem type type type things, because I'm really glad that you accepted to be on the program here and talk through and talk about your background and stuff like that, because I think more women need to be involved, right, more and more women need to be involved in in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. And I think as I've been doing this podcast, we'll have like, 20, some episodes or so. And I unfortunately, have only had have only been able to talk to I think three women as I as I sort of like talk through this. I really appreciate you giving back I guess I want to say that I sort of help women maybe feel more empowered, maybe they feel scared. I don't know, you know, maybe it's just not in them maybe to want to do this. But I don't know, I'd like to get your perspective a little bit on how can we do better, I guess, to encourage women to get into these fields. And then I guess that's probably my first question that's off. That's like off the top my head. And then Are there other organizations? You've mentioned a couple, you know, I guess how can people do more? I guess, you know, help help out and get better at it.

Danika Hannon  33:44  
Yeah. Well, I think your first step of asking if I wanted to be on the podcast was really kind of you. And that was a great step. Because you know, I've mentioned this during the presentation I gave to your group recently, but you're a leader in the community. So I've seen your podcast on LinkedIn, I always thought that it was really cool. Actually. Talking my mind, I was like, I would love to be on that. So day, but but I didn't have the confidence to just reach out and ask because we never met and I was afraid that that would come across as overbearing, or maybe even overconfident. So I think that that the competence issue is actually something that a lot of women struggle with, where there's these really interesting opportunities out there. And we are capable and hardworking, and we can go after them. But sometimes we don't because we're afraid of how we're going to be perceived. So just extending the offer of Hey, do you want to be on this podcast? Are you interested in being on this board? That can actually go a long way? And I know that everyone needs to look out for themselves. I'm a firm believer in self sufficiency. You know, it's the way I was raised. I come from a background of farming families, actually. So it's like you You take care yourself, you get up in the morning and you do what you need to do to get your stuff done. And so there is absolutely that personal responsibility. And I'm not downplaying that at all. But I, to your point of how can we bring more women into the space? I think just asking, just reaching out and asking is huge. And then, over time, I feel like women can help build up their confidence and figure out Oh, well, you know, talking with Justin was great. It wasn't near as intimidating as I thought it would be once we got started. So because that was, Oh, well, maybe I should go ask if I can be on that podcast, or just. So I think that just taking the first step of asking, do you want to be a part of this is a really big deal. That's a huge deal, actually. Sure.

Justin Grammens  35:41  
Yeah. Sure. Sure. And as you mentor young women we've been talking about is it it's probably a lot more of that just sort of, you know, instilling that, yes, you can do this, you can do this sort of mentality. Yeah,

Danika Hannon  35:52  
yeah, you're absolutely right. It is, you know, I had a very interesting conversation. Last week, I was giving a presentation to woman and quantum and I work on their mentorship program. And I was talking to this group of ladies about how to get out and network how to be a really good networker how to get comfortable giving presentations, that you can meet a bunch of new people. And there is one young woman who talked about how when she gives up to give a presentation, her like start shaking, and she said, they start shaking from the moment she gets up until the moment her presentation is done. With a young woman that I'm coaching, I really try and work with them on the competence and on the imposter syndrome and competence and imposter syndrome, something that I think can help out a lot is getting your body to work with you. So you've got a presentation coming up that you're really nervous about, go find a quiet room and just breathe for two minutes. Because when you do that deep breathing, you can reset your brain, it actually happens, I read up on the science of it, it's fascinating, your brain will stop releasing chemicals that are saying, hey, you need to fight or you need to flee. This is a very threatening situation. by just doing that deep breathing. for about two minutes, your brain will switch tracks, and I'll say, Oh, I can be calm and I can be quiet. Everything's okay. There's no need to be threatened. So it's, it's helpful to not overthink it, not overanalyze it, and just get aware of what's going on with your brain chemistry and then use that to stop the panic. Get yourself to be calmer. And just go out there and talk to people because chances are people are feeling just as nervous as you are. But no one wants to say it because we're all afraid that if he's so frightened of being here, and it took a lot of guts to show up, that they'll get told, well, you don't belong here at all. And so I think that there's actually a lot more imposter syndrome going on. And I've talked to my male counterparts. And I've heard that they really struggle with imposter syndrome, too. So it's almost like everyone's pretending this Yeah, yeah. So with a woman, I think that competence and imposter syndrome can be an issue, but I just feel like if you can just get yourself over that hump, and just help build up your confidence and you get enough wins. And then you're gonna start to believe that you can really do it. And that's, that's when it gets fun.

Justin Grammens  38:27  
Yeah, for sure. For sure. That's awesome. Yeah, I'll throw in a little book plug that one on ones that I've been listening to recently, it's called the five second rule by Mel Robbins. And she talks about a lot about getting up on stage and presenting and kind of flipping it around from being scared to being excited, right. So your body being excited about something and being scared about something, you have the same sort of reaction, you know, you sweat, you're nervous, you're all that type of stuff. And this is from a person who hated to present, she was very introverted. And now she's one of the most books speakers in the world and has done 1000s and 1000s of presentations. And she's got a really good YouTube presentation that she talks about her five second rule stuff. And the five second rule is really around just just counting to 512345, or 54321, is what she says 54321 and then go. And it's it's this idea of just moving on pressing forward. So it's a really, really good book, I'll add it in the notes. And I've been listening to it as I've been going out, and exercising and stuff like that, but she does touch on imposter syndrome. That's been something that she has dealt with it her entire life. And it's kind of how she tried to reframe her mind around the situations that she got in. But we went way off the topic of AI and quantum computing, but it's all good. Test has the word conversations with people. Well, so as we kind of start to think about wrapping up here. What's the best way to get ahold of you? danika Yeah,

Danika Hannon  39:50  
LinkedIn is perfect. So I'm on LinkedIn just about every day because I love seeing what the network what my network is doing. What interesting ideas are out there. Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn. I love to connect with people. If you ever have a question like if you're, if you're a young professional and you have a question about something that you're interested in, or you are maybe looking for some advice, you just want to connect, please feel free to do so. And really, for anyone who's listening, if you'd like to connect, I love building out the network. And I love seeing what other people are doing. I think it's really energizing to look at all the fascinating things that people are working on. And just to get to admire that and be a little part of that story and to be able to cheer you on. So if you want to connect LinkedIn is absolutely the best way to do it.

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