Ashwini Asokan, Founder of MSD, an AI startup is speaking at Sheroes Summit

Last updated 24 May 2019 . 1 min read

ashwini asokan at sheroes summit 2018 ashwini asokan at sheroes summit 2018

“As a mother of two, I watch my children grow every day. I have a 10-month-old and a five-year-old and with my five years old its lessons on social intelligence emotional intelligence on manners and with my 10 months old it's all about crawling walking talking. It is an intense journey raising a human child but often I am reminded that we are in a very similar relationship with our machines. We just don't know it we're like their parents constantly feeding them more and more about the world. Everything they live in and they're like our children absorbing the world everything around them.”

Says Ashwini Asokan in the conclusion of her TED talk on artificial intelligence.

Ashwini Asokan is the Founder and CEO of MSD (Mad Street Den an AI-based company), born in Chennai, a trained classical dancer who has traveled across the country for her performance and now is a mother of two. She loves being called a ‘woman entrepreneur’ and believes that there is no line between work and life but they are the same thing.

“I have tried very hard to bring them together, don’t separate them”, she says in her interview with Factor Daily.

Ashwini took a lot of motivation from her dad and her entire life has been spent building balance on the road that runs through her passion for dance, music, design, computers, people, culture. She says she owes all to her dad.

Education and Professional Life

Ashwini has completed her Bachelor's degree from Madras University in Visual Communication in 2002. Then she went for a Masters in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania.

Then she joined Intel Corp as a Design Researcher to be there for the next 9 years before founding MSD.

Ashwini learned a lot while her job at Intel. She was a part of a team of designers, anthropologists, human factor engineers designed to study the future of TV and she worked with people in manufacturing, in hardcore silicon design, software, and sensors.

She told,

“My entire journey at Intel has been a lesson in the entire stack and working out how UX, design and people-centric research help drive technology research and development.”

Founding MSD

Before founding Mad Street Den, Ashwini had a vast experience with the working of neural networks, the core principles of machine learning and how tech is put together for them to work.  “I understand my core well. I know enough about how tech is put together in a meaningful way”, she adds in her YS interview.

Ashwini is fond of Artificial Intelligence and that doubles because her husband, Anand Chandrasekaran too is from the same background. She told YS, “Our days and nights were filled with conversations about AI and the future of people and tech. It was only natural for us to go down this path together.” The couple started Mad Street Den in August 2013 with an initial capital of $50,000.

At Mad Street Den, Ashwini and her team of 60, give the power of sight and learning to machines, teaching them to see and experience the world like we humans do.

The company works across San Francisco, India & London. Her team has been known to build some of the most cutting-edge AI tech and products. The company launched its first vertical - an AI-based platform that is redefining the future of retail, online, across social channels and in-store.

In her TED talk, she says,

“Our machines have gotten smarter than ever before. They have more memory, more storage, more connectivity and more than anything else a human has. They have access to us humans in ways they've never had before. They can sense, they can see with their cameras, hear with their microphones and can feel with touch. They even have artificial noses and artificial limbs and they're beginning to make sense of the world around them, recognize what they're seeing understand what they're hearing.”

Here's Her TEDx Talks Video - 

Ashwini at SHEROES Summit

At the SHEROES Summit 2018, she would be sharing about her entrepreneurial journey, personal experiences and will give her opinion about AI. She will also discuss the future of AI and will put her opinion around changing the negative mindset about AI.

Dhara Joshi

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