by Analytics Insight
February 1, 2022
Shekhar Gupta has been involved in high technology for the last 25 years, either working for fortune 100 companies or his start-ups. He had his own technology companies that he has developed successfully. Shekhar has also been engaged in different sectors including the cloud since 2001, AI/ML since 2006, and blockchain since 2011. On the other hand, he has developed multiple products and networks using these technologies in various industries such as Telecom, Govtech, EdTech, and even AgTech now.
Recently, Shekhar started an animal health company called MyAnIML that uses AI to analyze an animal’s face and predict a disease before any symptoms are visibly seen and the animal becomes sick and contagious. “We are using the technology on cows first before going into other livestock and domesticated animals. This has never been done. We developed our own AI process and algorithm to train the system,” says Shekar.
An Inclusive Pioneer with Impressive Background
Shekhar Gupta is the CEO of MyAnIML. He believes that technology can solve many challenges he faced. In the early 90s, no one ever actually thought that Ford would become a software company and that the ‘Internet of Things’ would help a farmer plan their watering needs. Shekhar had many successes and failures in his professional career and has always learnt from both equally. Looking back at his career, he realizes that there have been many times when he was a little too early. Shekhar, who is in the technology field for so long now knows when to launch what technology. He has also encountered many biases in his career and his life where he managed diverse teams of various sizes and has seen the bias all along his path. Shekhar always strived hard to remove the bias aspect from his team and from his companies to provide an equal opportunity to everyone in order to be successful. In one of Shekhar’s other companies that are dedicated to the education tech, he is creating a platform with a good motif so the disadvantaged population gets the same opportunity to excel.
According to Shekhar, AI has been around for some time but lately, it is picking up steam and having issues with its own biases as well. He always knew that someday technology could help in sorting this out, and now that AI has matured enough, he knows it is a good time to start talking about the existing biases in technology. “These biases come from dataset labelling and as long as we have our own biases, we will continue to label the dataset accordingly,” Shekhar remarks.
As part of being an AI innovator and influencer, he is working very hard to convince people to stop using their own biases in labelling datasets and thus creating a biased AI.
Overcoming Obstacles by Embracing Technologies Quickly
In the beginning, the most frustrating thing according to Shekhar was the slow technology adoption. Learning to work with diverse teams in the global economy was another challenge for him. Although his background helped him to learn and lead a diverse team, he always recollects and wonders about his journey of challenges and how he adapted to the changing technologies quickly.
Attributions of a Promising AI Leader
In Shekhar’s words, influential leaders’ attributes have nothing to do with the titles and he articulates that it is all about gaining the admiration, confidence and trust of those around them. “It comes from the ability to inspire and motivate those around them. Leadership is about how they use their vision to engage with others and rally people. They need to be selfless, honest, empathetic, and always willing to listen and learn,” says Shekhar.
Talking about AI leaders, Shekhar confesses that AI is converting the local economy into a global economy and hence he asks the AI Leaders to actively understand, lead and appreciate new cultures, diverse teams of global remote employees with different backgrounds and know-how to enter and succeed in new global markets. “AI offers leaders and companies unprecedented opportunities to engage consumers in new and different ways with its massive datasets and amazing processing powers,” he adds.
User Experience as the Driving Force Behind Innovation
According to Shekhar, user experience is a must for innovation. He believes that no matter how good the product is if a user can’t use it easily and effectively, no one will want to use it. He advises to figure out the pain points and the emotions in innovation as there is no better way to connect with anybody or a group of people than by going to solve their pain points, do the customer discovery, do the market research to understand if you have a novel concept or if others are already tackling the issue. “The market always has its advantages. If you can think of something, know that others can as well. Execution is the key. Learning to use the technology, hiring the correct team to execute are very important in any innovation,” he expresses.
Artificial Intelligence at the Forefront of the Digital World
Shekhar opines that ‘disruptive technologies is not a buzzword anymore. There are actual use cases that help the human race. AI has become more than just the ‘If’ – ‘Then’ sentence. The issue is that many think they know AI or understand it but the truth is, only very few actually do. Shekhar clarifies that AI has the power to not only bring efficiency to the existing economy but can also overhaul the entire innovation process. It is a very useful tool that makes people rethink how they collect data, integrate and analyse data to gather necessary information, and how it improves decision making. He discusses the current global crisis which has accelerated the adoption of analytics and AI. Shekhar claims that many companies either have found a way to use it or are in the process of finding it. “Artificial intelligence is the main driver behind many emerging technologies like big data, robotics, and IoT and it will continue to act as a technological innovator for the foreseeable future. It is engaged in every aspect of people’s lives and every industry segment,” highlights Shekhar.
Talking about the advancements in AI and the contradiction that it will one day replace humans, Shekhar mentions that even though AI is there to augment, improve, and resemble human intelligence, it will never replace humans. It will be a big compliment to the human race. AI will help create better leaders by enhancing their skills, says Shekhar.
Towards New Horizons with Disruptive Tech Initiatives
Shekhar states that he runs an AgTech company along with an EdTech company. He believes that the future of AI in both fields is huge. “AI is impacting every aspect of people’s lives and every industry and has a tremendous impact on -AgTech. The agricultural industry is one of the last ones to be acquainted with technology and was resistant to new ideas. But with these advancements in technology the industry is picking up steam as well and AI is helping in various fields,” says Shekhar. He further adds that AI initiatives, however, shouldn’t simply be about automation but they should also provide an opportunity to be the catalyst to rethink processes and business models..
Words of Wisdom for Emerging Executives
Shekhar opines that every leader must be willing to deal with the ethical guidelines of AI and he asks them to take responsibility for their algorithm. He also advises seeking to preserve and increase trustworthiness by eliminating AI bias. “Even though the term AI has been around for quite some time, there is still much to be done,” he concludes.
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