Being a woman, being unapologetically ambitious


I was born the first kid in my family, in a rural village, located in mountain areas of the south-west China. Being a gild, I was disliked by my grandparents for fear of disconnecting the family bloodline.

As a kid, not knowing the word — feminist, I believed in gender equity, not willing to be judged on by anyone, on anything, just because of my sex. My mom yelled a few times to me, “all other girls in the village cook and clean for the family, and why cant you?” I would yell back, “only if my brother work together with me.” I eventually end up not doing much housework growing up with my younger brother as he was “lazy”. Thankfully, my mom stopped saying these to me. When I started school, it never crossed my mind that boys are better than girls in intelligence, in strength, and that boys should lead girls. Because of what I believed in, I was always confident and determined, believing in that whatever goal I set up, it is possible to succeed. When I was in middle school, my performance was constantly ranked number 1. I also won competition rope-jumping contest, shuttlecock kicking contest, and participated in running contest though I was the smallest girl in the class.

The yard where I grow up till the age of 17.

Me at the age of 6 and my younger, 3 at the time, watching family members playing Majong in the village, showing common houses with everything made of dirt.

On the wall of the only living room we had at the time, my rewards from the school were carefully posted as a decor and an encourage to me.

I’m lucky that I have two great parents, though being the most famous lazy girl in the village, they never pressured me to believe in otherwise. They love me and supported me with whatever ambitions that I have; though most of my ambitions are beyond their imagination and understanding(my father has in total of 9 years education and my mom has only 3 years). If my parents did not give me enough support and freedom of dreaming big, I am not sure if I will end where I am today.

When I was a kid, I dreamed to be a scientist and a writer. I still clearly remembering that my Chinese teacher read my article to the whole class as an example to learn from. I wrote, “I want to create a tiny robot, as small as an ant, smart and has vision to survelize the world, ensuring nobody hurts others, thus eradicating crimes and riding the needs of jails.” Here I am, an AI Research Scientist in Computer Vision at Facebook and a potential author to an algorithm book.

Looking back, what brought me where I am today is not just my level of intelligence, my unlimited passion, and strength and resilience, but the belief and the confidence that I have — “If I want, I can.”

I did not plan to write a book, I did it because of my passion to write, to share, and to pass the knowledge to help others. Besides my passion on researching and writing, I’m conceiving an exciting idea whose main purpose is to lower the barriers of sharing knowledge to others. No dedicated planning along the path, everything I achieved or about to achieve coming together, naturally and freely, simply because of the self-confidence that I have.

I encourage, all the girls, to be confident and “unapologetically ambitious”. Ending the article with Shellye Archambeau‘s three tips for catalyzing the ambition from the book — Unapologetically Ambitious:

  • set up goals
  • tell the universe what you want, so that we can get help
  • take the risks



-- AI consulting and freelancing. Ex AI researcher@ Meta AI. Github:

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Li Yin

Li Yin AI consulting and freelancing. Ex AI researcher@ Meta AI. Github:

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