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Bits and Bytes with India’s Data Man Navin Manaswi (Data scientist & Author)

Data and privacy, Social Network Analysis, Sensors, Wearable Computing, and Location Intelligence; Name a technological trend that’s revolutionizing commerce and society, and Navin Manaswi was likely working on it before most of the people like us, were not even aware of it.

Navin Manaswi, an Artificial Intelligence expert, has been mentoring various AI companies, especially those registered with 91SpringBoard, Consulting AI, Blockchain and IoT companies. He expertizes in Simulation and Optimization techniques, Hidden Markow Models, Bayesian Networks, Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart City Project, Dubai. He has strong experience in Data Mining, Statistical Modeling, Machine Learning and Visualization in Cancer Data Research, Oil & Gas Exploration Data Analytics, Supply Chain Analytics, Finance Data Analytics, Social Media Analytics, and Telecommunications Analytics.

An IIT Kanpur alumnus, Navin is also recognized as one of top 10 data scientists of India. He’s written various books on AI and different subjects related to data science, the latest being :
“Deep Learning with Applications Using Python: Chatbots and Face, Object, and Speech Recognition With TensorFlow and Keras”.

Infeed: What have been your experiences with Data Science in a developing nation, of so called third world like India?

Navin Manaswi: India is emerging in a big way in the field of AI. We are full of talent who are working very hard and working to make it global. We are not behind the countries like US in this segment, but, yes we have a long way to go. We are solving many problems in retail, telecom, health-care, as well.

Infeed: As a large experience you have with Singapore bank, how do you feel that we as a nation stand in the category that we can have conversational banking come to SBI or any other PSU banking, and what is the time frame you see for it to happen in India for delivering those predictive analysis in our banking and other systems.

Navin Manaswi: Nice question, India is a country of many languages. It has more than 30-40 languages. AI in local languages is a bit typical to implement currently. It may take some time. We will need to first develop local language based NLP (Natural Language Processing), then only we will be able to manage chatbots in SBI or any other bank, but it won’t take much time as the banks are very proactive. The banks in India are working very hard for this and I don’t think that we are more than two years away when we can have many automations in banking like automatic cheque clearance, automatic balance update, automatic on boarding of new customers, etc. There are many things which we can do in next one to two years of time, but advanced applications like chatbots in local languages due to variety of languages and their ascents, which is a bit challenging in India, but within a span of 4-5 years we are going to have all these advanced AI features in banking.

Infeed: How was your experience on foreign soil solving challenging problems which a normal human brain couldn’t solve?

Navin Manaswi: It was exciting and interesting as I was lucky enough to get and solve big challenges in Industry. I was lucky to interact with different kind of persons having different perspective which was a great experience.

Infeed: Can you share some experience with insight of the problems to our readers where you solved some problem and the solution you came up with?

Navin Manaswi : One problem that comes to my mind is of telecom service providers in Malaysia. There are many areas in Malaysia which fall under huge forests and the density of population is very low. Those areas don’t have any telephone towers. You won’t get phone signals for some duration in many areas of Malaya. We automated the fault detection and reduced the down time in telephone tower connection. We built classifier and sticker generation mechanism in AI manner. It was a great experience solving the problem for Malaysian telecom company.

Infeed: You seem to be coming from a very normal middle class family in India back from the land of Bihar where everyone dreams of being an IAS officer. When did you think of chosing Data Science as a serious career option?

Navin Manaswi: I always had a love for science and mathematics. Data is somewhat like solving a great math problem using programming language. After working for finance company for some time, I decided to switch to data. I wanted to change the world in some way. Becoming an IAS officer is also a way of doing it. Solving data problems and fostering the industry, and contributing to human society where we can have better telephone networks, better cab facilities, improved retail experiences, cheaper clothes, which helps everyone in the society and it’s a natural liking for me due to my love in Science and Mathematics.

Infeed: Besides your professional side, you are fond of writing books. In a span of last 5 years, you have written around a dozen books. Your books have been featured in top 40 best seller of entire year in amazon? What inspires you to write books and how do you manage your time?

Navin Manaswi: I have been always trying to answer problems in AI. Generally I get a lot of questions from my colleagues/friends. I consider that there is a huge audience, millions of persons, who want to understand AI in a simpler way. With that intention, I write books, so that AI becomes easy to understand and make it simple for everyone. I get time as I get enough intuition to make it easy. I devote half an hour every day to write about new technologies in the industry. Still I am writing two more books on Advanced and Deep Learning.

Infeed: How, do you think AI can be instrumental in improvement of healthcare?

Navin Manaswi: By automating many healthcare operations, like medical drug facilities and registration of patients, we can have various quality control checks in the government hospitals, we can have a nice dashboard by which we can control how hospitals are working in all districts. We can also automate the pathology report generation. With the help of deep learning, we can automate the study of cancer tumors, its size and its position. Pathology report can be generated in a minute. When patients come for a pathological test, from any remote area, they have to wait for a day or two for generation of report. We can easily save that time using AI. We can have chatbots to solve many simple problems for patients which can automate the simple diseases like fever, cough. Supply chain mechanism can be managed at runtime before anything lapses and can save lives. This way we can help in the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.

Infeed: We all know that you have working in different cities. Can you recite some examples how different cities work on different datas?

Navin Manaswi : Data is based on different verticals like healthcare, retail sector, HRD or telecom. Citywise there is not much difference in data. The major difference is on the work culture and the focus on what you want to achieve. For example, in India hospital management is more important, while in developed countries, creating pathological report at runtime is more important. Focus may be different, problems may be different, but data is almost similar.

Infeed: From a person selling Kirana in a remote village in India, to a person selling groceries in Malaysia mall, see data in the same way or different? Is the level of understanding of data same or different across cities?

Navin Manaswi: Normal people also need to have database. Mostly in India or other part of the world, normal Kirana store doesn’t keep a record of data. But big firms like Wallmart keep data, organize it properly and apply AI over it. We first need to centralize data, which is not being done in normal stores.

Infeed: How do you think AI can help in improving housing in India?

Navin Manaswi: AI will help in providing quality control by video intelligence and we can check the quality at runtime. AI will help in managing the kind of material, labour and time used. Secondly, while allotting housing, we can make it faster by using schemes like Aadhar, and hence, can automate the activities and improving transparency.

Infeed: How excited are you, as a data scientist in India. What are the opportunities and challenges?

Navin Manaswi: It’s a bit fun, It seems like I am a child playing football every day. There are so many challenges in the industry. I have been working in six verticals – Retail, Telecom, HRD, IT, Digital Marketing etc. It’s a big fun solving a problem. If you have talent and a passion to solve the problems of the society, many companies will be after you to hire. There is a huge potential in the industry. Industry does need talented AI professionals.

Infeed: There have been huge allegations on British Analytica during Trump’s election victory. Also, there were big debates on use of Data Science in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Can data science actually manipulate or influence people and change the mindset of voters?

Navin Manaswi: Politicians have always been trying to control the minds of people. Data Science makes the things easier for them. What someone writes on SM platform, it tells about the sentiments towards a leader or a political party. For example, if a campaign is run, the leaders can get the feedback that how people are reacting towards the campaign, the event or the person. One can track it every minute and then one can decide to alter the scheme or go with the same depending upon the feedback. Suppose, Donald Trump has an idea for campaigning, now he can change/modify the campaign based on the feedback mechanism obtained through data science. Data science can help him get the feedback of each event, each policy. For some events, the sentiments are positive, for some, they are negative. So, with the feedback in hand, he can modify the campaign and influence the minds. He can understand, which words give boost to the campaign, which sentence makes room in the minds of the voters, and hence helpful for the campaign. So, data science can help in runtime; by which you can modify the schemes and campaign. This has been used in all over the world, especially in USA.

Infeed: People are worried about their jobs due to implementation of AI. What is your view on it?

Navin Manaswi: The routine jobs, can be automated by AI, like read one paper and type it. It’s a good thing, that we will not have routine task. AI will create a situation where people will be more original, more creative. It will create new jobs in robotics, data generation tasks etc. There are many tasks in AI, which can give jobs to millions of persons. You will have to re-skill yourself, need to be more creative, more original than ever. In the next two-three years, there will be more jobs, but after 3-4 years, it can go reverse way. There are so many jobs in AI, and no one is there to take those jobs. We need to re-skill ourselves and align ourselves to upcoming technologies.

Infeed: How proud do you feel to be an Indian first and then a data scientist, a global citizen serving and solving problems of different countries?

Navin Manaswi: For me, humanity comes first. I want to serve my people, my country, but not at the cost of other nations. I am pure Indian, but for me humanity is above all. It is not like competing. Being an Indian and having humanitarian values is one and the same thing. Humanity is the value which belongs to the soil of this great nation. We are pro-humanity, who are willing to serve the country as well as the rest of the world.

Infeed: As you are aware of, My Favourite India moment with Infeed from 1st August to 15th August, what is going to be your Favourite India moment, which makes you feel proud as an Indian?

Navin Manaswi: The sentiment level in India compared to other part of the world is quite different. It is much emotional and I am proud of it. We as a country and family, are more connected than western nations.

Infeed: What are the two things you want to change in India for the next 5 years?

Navin Manaswi: First of all, I want more cultural freedom. These days, we have less tolerance for dissent, freedom for practicing any culture. We need to have more tolerance for criticism. We should look for diversity in real sense. People should focus more on karma, rather than focusing on our glorious past.

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