This week (5-11 December) is Computer Science Education Week.

To promote the week, Microsoft has pulled together 17 of its female role models to give their views on what’s likely to occur in their fields in 2017.

Below are three of the role models, however you can find the full 17 on Microsoft’s blog here.

The women share their expertise across a wide range of topics, including artificial intelligence, biological computation, virtual reality and much more.

Ktja Hofmann, researcher, Cambridge, UK, research lab

What will be the key advance in artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2017?

In 2017 computer games will take centre stage in the development of AI. Experimentation platforms based on games, such as Project Malmo — which my team and I have developed to enable AI experimentation in Minecraft – will allow for rapid testing of new ideas. I am especially excited about the potential for collaborative AI. We are now at the point where we can start to understand how AI can learn from us and collaborate with us to help us achieve our goals.

Kristin Lauter, principal researcher, Redmond, US, research lab

What will be the key advance in mathematics and cryptography in 2017?

New mathematical solutions allowing for computation on encrypted data will be deployed to protect the privacy of medical and genomic data for patients and hospitals.  The new homomorphic encryption schemes will secure the data while allowing the cloud to compute on it to make useful risk predictions and provide analysis and alerts. Homomorphic encryption will be deployed soon in the financial sector to protect sensitive banking data.

Sara-Jane Dunn, scientist, Cambridge, UK, research lab

What will be the key advance or topic of discussion in biological computation in 2027?

If we can imagine the realisation of programming biology, in 10 years’ time we will be developing entirely new industries and applications in areas ranging from agriculture and medicine to energy, materials and computing. While the last 50 years were utterly transformed by the ability to program on silicon, we will be entering the next programming revolution: The era of living software.

You can join in the conversation for Computer Science Education week at @codeorg and @csedweek along with the hashtag #hourofcode.