Sindhu Ramachandran is a Malayali engineer working as a Director and Head of Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence at Quest Global based in Singapore. She works at the Trivandrum office of Quest Global. Her focus of work is Image processing and Artificial Intelligence sectors. Quest Global provides artificial intelligence support in healthcare, energy, rail, hi-tech, automotive sectors.
What does the field of Artificial Intelligence basically aim for?
The main purpose of Artificial Intelligence technology is to bring computers, or machines, to that one level, where it can think and solve complex problems and make decisions. We train artificial intelligence algorithms the same way we teach small children.
Artificial intelligence will be useful in solving complex problems, taking precise measurements, delegating repetitive tasks to machines, voice assistants, personalization and customer experience. But it is not in the form of competition between human and AI, but as an aid with the humans.
Technologies exist that can completely automate human daily life. How do you see the future of artificial intelligence?
If you look at the figures, one in four of the US senior citizens and adults use smart devices like Google Home and Echo. Similarly, about 92.3 percent of smartphone users use voice assistants. The more people see it being used, the more innovations will happen in this area.
When we talk about artificial intelligence, we also talk about its threats. Are there any threats when artificial intelligence becomes a part of human life?
We use all our senses to understand each thing and act accordingly and make decisions. It seems to me that artificial intelligence evolving to that extent is far fetched. At the same time, it has a wide range of uses including health and industrial applications.
Recently, a Google engineer himself commented that Google’s artificial intelligence called Lambda has its own emotion. How do you see such arguments?
Lambda stands for Language Model for Dialog Application. It is trained to communicate with excellence. For that reason it has learned to react intelligently. It seems like it is behaving emotionally because it is giving such sensible answer.
It is said that 5G will revolutionize the field of artificial intelligence?
It benefits a lot in terms of high-speed connectivity. 5G will also enable the transfer of large amounts of data to AI models in a short time.
Do Algorithms negatively affect humans?
We should see artificial intelligence as an aid to humans. It is not meant to replace existing skills.
What do you have to say to the generation who wants to choose this field?
When we see a particular situation or problem, we have to identify how we can bring value there through artificial intelligence. For such conceptualization to be possible we must have an interest in the field. Always keep renewing yourself. Attend conferences and exhibitions and find out what companies and start-ups are up to. Try to know what innovations are being made by big companies like Nvidia, Microsoft, Amazon. All it takes is interest in the field.
How many people are getting into the field of artificial intelligence from our state? Are current education systems capable of it?
Kerala is a hub of engineering talent. Therefore, it is possible to hire new people from colleges in Kerala. Retaining them is a challenge as there are opportunities in this sector outside of Kerala. To tackle that problem, A.I. meetings and conferences need to be held regularly in Kerala to maintain the community of engineers. Theory is studied in undergraduate courses. However, students should be careful to take subjects related to the use of artificial intelligence for projects etc. Try to get maximum training during internship as well. Do related courses.
What is the presence of women? Challenges?
I understand that there is equal representation in this field. Most companies retrain such people even if there is a career break due to personal reasons like marriage, pregnancy. We just need to get the right people to guide.