Dr. Marion Croak: The Black Woman Who Holds Over 200 Patents in Tech

by Shine My Crown Staff

Dr, Marion Croak is a huge name in tech.

Amongst many other things, Croak is credited with initiating and furthering VOIP (voice over internet protocol) development.

Without her, applications such as Skype, Zoom and other huge tech giants may never have been possible. It’s because of Dr. Croak that we are able to sit on a video call with our family members… or in a long, drawn-out Zoom call for work.

Either way, we are grateful to her.

Dr. Croak’s graduate background is in quantitative analysis and social psychology and her dissertation examined factors that impact bias. She holds a Ph.D. in quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California, has more than 200 patents in VOIP technology.

Dr. Croack is currently with Google, where she helps the company to develop artificial intelligence responsibly and ensure that it has a positive impact, leading a new center of expertise on responsible AI within Google Research.

She says everything she does is with people in mind:

“My graduate studies were in both quantitative analysis and social psychology. I did my dissertation on looking at societal factors that influence inter-group bias as well as altruistic behavior,” she said in an interview with Google in February. “And so I’ve always approached engineering with that kind of mindset, looking at the impact of what we’re doing on users in general. […] What I believe very, very strongly is that any technology that we’re designing should have a positive impact on society.”

Last January, she was elected chair of Google’s Black Leadership Advisory Group. She says those who know her would have been surprised upon first hearing the news.

“If you asked anyone, “Would Marian wind up ever being a leader of the Black community?” they’d say, “She’s so quiet, she’s so introverted.” I do care more about doing well at work, and yet many of the things I hear people say they’ve experienced, I’ve experienced as well,” she told WSJ. “I feel immensely comfortable having white colleagues and friends and relatives, but sometimes there’s just this slight unawareness that we live in parallel universes.

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