Interview with the CEO of neurIOT, Sanjeev Thukral

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Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Q1- Tell us about your educational background and your current ventures?

Sanjeev Thukral, CEO of neurIOT

I’m an Electrical Engineer from IIT Delhi and an MBA. I’ve spent most of my life in the technology world, having worked across different industry verticals in different markets including the US, Germany, UK, Japan and India.

neurIOT Technologies is our current venture. The idea behind neurIOT has been to bring the power of AI based predictions to common businesses. Our capability across the US and India includes Image Processing, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and BOT development. We also have a subsidiary called Predictive Police Solutions which is focused on bringing the power of AI to the Policing world.

Q2- How did you get started in Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks?

Several years ago, while on job I started dealing with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras for law & order and traffic enforcement. Success of ANPR entirely depends on the algorithm’s capability to accurately detect number plates from images. Prevalence of non-standard number plates in several markets forced me to experiment with ANPRs with neural network algorithms for incremental learning. As I got deeper into Machine Learning solutions, I ended up developing a Criminal Finder solution, capable of reading 911 transcripts available as free-flow text using NLP techniques and having supervised learning models trained on crime characteristics of known criminal gangs. These foundation level projects in NLP and Image Processing opened a pandora’s box for me to take on other interesting assignments in different other industry verticals such as Food & Beverages, Footwear & Apparels, Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals.

Q3- Many people believe that Artificial Intelligence could bring the apocalypse, what are your views?

That’s a very deep question and the answer to whether AI can bring apocalypse is both yes and no. It’s true that AI has the capability of taking over complex tasks and decision process from humans. But whether AI solutions will ever develop a state of self-realization (like us humans) is something to be seen. Irrespective, mechanisms need to be adopted which disallow AI to take over any such activity, which can adversely impact human lives. I feel there’s an urgent need for a UN like international body to set the limits for the use of AI. A good example can be found in STEM cell research, which limits human cloning. I feel use of robots and humanoids in defense forces and active combat must be completely banned. Across all nuclear capable nations, control of nuclear button and related mechanism must remain a heavily complex manual process with zero possibility of AI intervention.

Q4- What books have influenced your thoughts the most?

Many books have influenced me from my childhood days. Journey to the Center of Earth by Jules Verne influenced me the most in my teens. My English teacher had given this book as a prize for my good scores. In my college days, I got most influenced by Letters, articles, speeches and statements of Subhash Chandra Bose, a great freedom fighter and a leader of India. In the last decade, Ignited Minds by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, a great space scientist and late President of India has been quite enlightening. Programming Collective Intelligence by Toby Segaran and Research Papers from Andrew Ng have influenced me the most in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Q5- What advice would you give startups when starting their journey in Artificial Intelligence?

One of my key learning relates to lack of availability of credible data for building AI models. AI startups should not underestimate this problem. Second learning is on the customer engagement front. Understanding customer problem and educating the customer on how AI can help is a key step in being commercially successful with AI. One key roadblock we constantly face relates to customer’s confidence in this technology.

Q6- What are your views about MarkTechPost?

MarkTechPost has very quickly established itself as a source of latest developments on cutting edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. I find their Guest Post section as a great source of new information from peers and industry colleagues in their use of technology. I feel MarkTechPost.com is a great place for technology entrepreneurs and geeks to visit and refresh themselves on the latest and the greatest in technology world.

 

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