Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Aishwarya Srinivasan, AI/ML Innovation Leader, Business Development, IBM, to understand her machine learning journey. An advocate for open-source technologies, Aishwarya holds a postgraduate in Data Science from Columbia University. An ardent reader, she has also founded Illuminate AI – a platform to build and connect people from the artificial intelligence community.

AIM: What drew you to machine learning? Do share your machine learning journey so far.

Aishwarya: The mere excitement behind building solutions that are able to solve real-world challenges. Since my first project in data science, which was to predict stock prices based on macroeconomic factors, I have been allured to working on more and more problems.

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My journey started with researching cloud computing and how data science services sit in a multi-cloud environment. Soon, I was working on predictive and prescriptive modelling in finance, auditing, and social media use-cases. While I was pursuing my undergraduate studies, I was exploring personalisation applications like chatbots and recommendation systems, which was very interesting. I have never restricted myself to a specific domain or kind of modelling technique. I have always liked to explore new domains and learn new algorithms.

During my Master’s at Columbia University, I explored working on an open-source machine learning package – Scikit Learn. I also worked on a research project with Dr Minjae Kim to predict acute kidney injury based on patient health records and inter-operative patient data. It was an extraordinary learning experience as I could think out of the computational perspective and had to wear a subject matter expert hat. After I joined IBM, I have worked on many industrial use-cases, and one of the major learnings is that data quality issues are a real challenge. I also learned that, unlike college assignments, measuring the effectiveness of your solutions isn’t dependent on any model metric but is more about what business value it creates.

AIM: Tell us about your role at IBM.

Aishwarya: I am currently leading AI and ML initiatives at IBM, where I work cross-functionally with the data science, product, and sales organisation to research AI use-cases for clients by conducting discovery workshops and building assets to showcase the business value of the technology.

AIM: Could you tell us some of the exciting data science…

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