AT ITS CORE, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS MEANT TO REPLICATE THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE AS IT MIMICS THE WAY OUR MINDS OPERATE.

Aashrith is an AI engineer interested in computer vision and machine learning. As an undergraduate student in Chaitanya Bharathi Institute Of Technology, he pursued a degree in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering. It was in these first years that he first developed an appreciation for computer science as a discipline. Soon after, he moved to the US to pursue a Masters degree in Computer Science at Texas A&M, focusing on artificial intelligence. While at Texas A&M, he worked for Alexis Networks, a startup doing Anomaly Detection through AI. Upon graduation, he joined Mendel, as an AI Research Engineer. Now, at Auba, he works with our AI team developing cutting-edge technologies.

At its core, artificial intelligence is meant to replicate the human experience as it mimics the ways our minds operate; much as it does with Aashrith’s life. 

Let us review the basics. In its simplest form, we can think of machine learning as an iterative process, going from broad conclusions to narrow outcomes. For a model to be train, a machine must first be fed large amounts of data on which it is trained. Then, it is able to make some initial broad assumptions. With much effort and repetition, it finds the right path to follow. Eventually, the machine becomes a natural; it can, for the most part, give accurate information to the end user.

We find a similar pattern in Aashrith’s career. Growing up in Hyderabad, he always knew that science would be, to some degree, the path he would follow. The specifics—whether it would be electrical or mechanical engineering; computer science or other forms of tech—weren’t so clear. As a kind in school, the only certainty was a deep appreciation for math and a hope that, through it, he would find a career to follow. 

The decision of which course to follow was , to some degree, intuitive. When it was time for college, he enrolled in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering at Chaitanya Bharathi Institute Of Technology, in his native Hyderabad. His initial thought was that, through such a degree, he could put his interest in math to good use and work in something tangible as motors or circuits.

Yet the more Aashrith got to work with electronics, the less he enjoyed the field. It came to be, to some degree, a dead end. He knew science was still the path for him, but necessarily the world of electronics. Much as AI models, trying every possible alternative to find the right solution, Aashrith had come to discover a dead end and needed a new strategy to follow. 

It was around this time that, through his studies, Aashrith learned how to code and, in so doing, found a new area of interest. While electronics themselves might’ve not been the path to follow, the adjacent world of software development presented itself as a much brighter possibility. 

At this time, the talk around AI had just begun to emerge in college campuses but was nowhere near its current levels. A professor of Aashrith’s in Hyderabad had started working on computer vision—the way a machine understands images and interprets them in turn—, giving him an initial glance at the subject of computer science that would soon change the world. And, in the process, would give Aashrith the first guide of a path to follow.

While an undergrad, he would build his first models attempting to predict economic downturns from financial data. Working with the same professor that first introduced him to these concepts, Aashrith developed an AI system capable of predicting sentences being uttered in a video that lacked any form of audio.

The model of Aashrith’s life had found the right combination to follow. Now, upon graduating, he decided to take yet another turn to deepen his knowledge by studying a Masters degree in Computer Science at Texas A&M. To say it was a culture shock would be an understatement. Aashrith went from the buzzing streets of Hyderabad to a college town in Texas, halfway around the globe from where he first learned about artificial intelligence.

Despite the fact that his graduate studies coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, Aashrith was still able to deepen his interest in AI as the technology–and all it represented—slowly began to take over news outlets everywhere.

Once again, it was time to make decisions based on past experience; to act upon the data upon which Aashrith’s model had been trained. Aashrith knew that, upon graduating, he wanted to actively contribute to the world of AI and that such changes would not happen on their own. As he told himself, in the interview preparing this essay, ““You cant just stay there and expect change to happen”“You can’t just stay still and expect change to happen”.

So, while still a Masters student, he joined Alexis Networks, an early stage startup trying to detect important anomalies in large data sets. Soon after, with his degree complete, he moved a third time, now to San José, California, working as an AI Engineer for Mendel, an AI startup seeking to enhance clinical research through technology.

His time at Mendel only served as proof that, thus far, the AI model he called life had found the right path to follow. Aasrith truly enjoyed the world of computer science and, most importantly, that of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.

Seeking to further expand his understanding, he has now joined Auba as an AI Research Engineer. Here, Aashrith is tackling a new problem in his career: the world of supply chains. But, to do it, he uses the same approach and tools that first puzzled him as a college student in Hyderabad. Only that, after many years of exploring, his own model of learning has been refined and, together with Auba, it will soon reach a new stage of growth, exploration, and enhancement.