Solutionaries: Saqib Shaikh and Sandra Lopez from Microsoft on Disability as a Force for Innovation
Saqib Shaikh is the blind inventor of the Seeing AI platform which explores how Artificial Intelligence can be leveraged to empower the blind and low vision community to do more. He’s joined by Sandra Lopez, General Manager, Global Marketing, Microsoft Advertising, who will be unveiling a new platform which shows how the technology giant is levelling the playing field by making search more inclusive.
Sandra E. Lopez
Microsoft Advertising, General Manager, Global Marketing
Sandra E. Lopez is VP/GM/CMO of Microsoft’s Advertising Business where she is responsible for accelerating the business within the digital industry. In her role, her team is focused on driving effective marketing position, business and share growth, as well as delivering on revenue. Lopez is also the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on VR/AR/XR. And currently serves as an advisor to Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) and Americas 250.
Previously, she was responsible for ushering Intel into the immersive media segment as well as managed the fashion wearable business for Intel’s New Technology Group. Earlier in her Intel career, Lopez held various roles within corporate marketing, including director of new business marketing and consumer marketing.
Over the course of her career, Lopez has received numerous recognitions, including “, “Top 100 Women in Technology” (Technology Magazine), “2021 Power Women” (NY Moves Magazine), “Most Powerful Women in Tech” (National Diversity Council), “Top Women in Sports” (AdWeek), Top Ten Influencers in Technology” (SportsPro) , “Game Changer” (Sports Business Journal), “Top 10 Latina Executives” (LatinaStyle), and “Most Influential and Notable Hispanic Professionals in Information Technology” (HiTec).
Prior to joining Intel in 2005, Lopez held various positions at Adobe Systems Inc., Macromedia, Computer Associates International Inc. and several other technology companies.
Lopez earned a B.S. in Economics and Textiles and Clothing from the University of California at Davis. In addition, she attended the Stanford’s Executive Accelerator Program in 2016. As part of contributing to the community, she is focused on building the next generation of women leaders.
Software Engineering Manager / Project Lead for Seeing AI at Microsoft
At Microsoft, Saqib Shaikh leads teams of engineers to blend emerging technologies with natural user experiences to empower people with disabilities to achieve more – and thus to create a more inclusive world for all.
Shaikh is the founder of Seeing AI – an app which enables someone who is visually impaired to hold up their phone, and hear more about the text, people, and objects in their surroundings. It has won multiple awards, and been called “life changing” by users. Shaikh has demonstrated his work to the UK Prime Minister, and to the House of Lords. The video of the original prototype (http://youtu.be/R2mC-NUAmMk) has been viewed over three million times.
He is also a public speaker, giving talks about accessibility, inclusion, and innovation at dozens of events around the world.
Shaikh holds a BSc in Computer Science (graduating top of his class), and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence. He has been recognized by the British Computer Society as the Young IT Practitioner of the Year.