Women Leading The AI Industry: “If you are planning an event in the AI space, make sure you are including a female speaker” with Morvareed Z. Salehpour and Tyler Gallagher

Tyler Gallagher
Jun 12 · 7 min read

More focus needs to be put on exposing women to STEM from a young age and more support networks need to be created for the women already in the space. Additionally, if you are planning an event in the space, make sure you are including a female speaker. There are too many panels or events with just men. Women need to be represented too so other women are encouraged to delve into the space as well.

As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Morvareed Z. Salehpour. Morvareed is Managing Partner of Salehpour Legal Consulting (https://www.salehpourlaw.com/), a law firm specializing in handling a diverse range of complex legal matters both in and outside the courtroom. She is experienced in negotiating a variety of contracts and legal agreements and handling cases from inception to trial and appeal. She has represented clients across the nation ranging from entrepreneurs and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and works in a variety of industries, including technology, artificial intelligence and blockchain among others. Ms. Salehpour is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA School of Law, where she also served as a Managing Editor for the UCLA Law Review. Ms. Salehpour previously practiced at BakerHostetler, a national firm where her work included being a member of the legal team seeking to recover the principal lost in the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Ms. Salehpour is also a Trustee of the Santa Monica Bar Association, Board Member of the Rabbit Hole Network Blockchain Community, and a regular speaker and writer on tech law issues.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?

I have always been interested in technological innovation since a young age and became involved with the Silicon Beach community after graduating from law school so have been working with tech clients since. I am able to provide those clients with innovative solutions since they are often involved with developing areas of law where there are gray areas and there may not be a clear answer. I enjoy the creativity that goes into that and am good at structuring effective resolutions that minimize legal risks while maximizing business interests.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

Commitment to your goals are important to achieving them. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was young and actively worked toward that goal from the start (including even interning for a law firm in high school) and when I knew I wanted to be involved in the working with businesses on the innovative areas of tech like artificial intelligence, I applied that same commitment to learn the space and get involved with the community.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?

Some of my most interesting work right now involves assisting clients in handling the gray spaces that come with operating in innovative tech spaces like artificial intelligence and helping them find that appropriate balance of minimizing legal risks while maximizing their business interests

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The support of my parents has been key. They have always been there and it was really great to have them support my decision to leave biglaw in order to take the entrepreneurial route of building my own practice.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

I am most excited by:

(1) increased automation of route and simpler tasks as it will create more efficiency and speed in our transactions;

(2) replacement of human labor for physical intensive and/or dangerous tasks as it reduces injuries;

(3) more precision in medical treatments and procedures which allows for longer and more healthy lives;

(4) wide-spread adoption of autonomous vehicles as that will dramatically transform the transportation industry; and

(5) the redefining of our own roles in the workplace and society as fourth industrial revolution technologies become widely adopted and instituted.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

I think the areas of concern are:

(1) use of facial-recognition software for identification purposes because the technology as it currently exists has high error rates with respect to identification of minorities and women;

(2) implicit biases of AI developers and implicit biases contained in the data used to train the AI because incorporation of those biases (even unintentional) exacerbates existing biases such as those relating to race, etc.,

(3) increased autonomous weapons because it can lead to a worldwide autonomous weapons race, especially since countries like Russia are seeking to be the leader in that space;

(4) increased spreading of misinformation through bots because it leads to social and political manipulation; and

(5) exponential growth of AI in the next few decades — my concern is that job loss from AI will significantly outpace jobs created by AI and our governments are not prepared to deal with that.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

I think that there a lot of social and ethical implications with artificial intelligence and we need to proceed forward in an informed manner. If we do not start thinking about the implications of artificial intelligence and put in the appropriate forethought now to put proper structures and procedures in place (legal and otherwise) as it is developing then I can see it getting out of hand before we would be able to get a handle on it.

What can be done to prevent such concerns from materializing? And what can be done to assure the public that there is nothing to be concerned about?

Both the companies operating in the space and governments (on all levels from municipalities and up) need to put in the forethought now so that we can appropriately handle the social, ethical, and legal implications and complications that accompany the technology.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

I’m involved in organizations (including as a board member) working to increase the involvement of women and minorities in the innovative areas of tech.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would you advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?

Get comfortable being the only or one of the few women in the room, speak up with your thoughts, and support other women in the space.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

More focus needs to be put on exposing women to STEM from a young age and more support networks need to be created for the women already in the space. Additionally, if you are planning an event in the space, make sure you are including a female speaker. There are too many panels or events with just men. Women need to be represented too so other women are encouraged to delve into the space as well.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Time and tide wait for no man” — meaning you shouldn’t delay when an opportunity arises. I see it as knowing when to take risks on things that matter. I did this with leaving biglaw and starting my own practice.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would love to see a solution to homelessness, but that is a very complicated issue to resolve.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/morvareedsalehpour/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/salehpourlaw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/salehpourlaw/

Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Morvareed-Z-Salehpour

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


About the Author:

Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and United Arab Emirates focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. Prior to founding Regal Assets, Tyler worked for a Microsoft startup led by legendary tech giant Karl Jacob who was an executive at Microsoft, and an original Facebook board member.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Tyler Gallagher

Written by

CEO and Founder of Regal Assets

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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