These Women in Tech are Doing Pathbreaking Work in the AI Space

It has always been a hurdle to include more and more women in tech. The educational reforms and the policy and program objectives put forward by governments encourage the education and training of women at all levels in the fields of science and technology. They provide concrete plans and resources for women entrepreneurs, aiming to reduce the gender gap that exists in a male dominated industry.

Women tech founders are on the rise making extraordinary strides in the Artificial Intelligence industry. They are changemakers working in the science of cognition, machine learning, and leading-edge forms of artificial intelligence as computer scientists, digital sociologists and visionary entrepreneurs. While many technology workspaces prefer hiring men for the job, half of the consumers of these technologies tend to be women. Companies are responding by hiring more women to mirror the customer base.

Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur, Niramai
Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur, Niramai

Here are some women who are shaping our future by shaping the technology we are going to use:

Barkha Sharma, Bash.ai

Bash.ai is one of India’s fastest growing AI powered HR automation products. Barkha Sharma, a graduate degree holder in Computer Science and a Master’s in Business Administration used AI to drive one of India’s first companies that uses machine learning algorithms to automate end to end HR processes. With over 7 years of corporate HR experience and vast knowledge of Human Resource Development, Talent Acquisition, Organization Development, Process & Performance Improvement and Team Learning & Development, she started by consulting startups as they built their HR processes.

Bash.ai uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve HR processes. It helps to provide features like smart attendance, hiring tracker, company directory, ticketing, virtual assistant and grievance reporting, creating positive employee experiences. Barkha started her company on Women’s Day 2017, with the launch of BashBot, the AI powered virtual HR assistant. The first round of funding for Bash.ai was raised in October 2017. As the product focuses on reshaping HR as a function, the company continues to make an impact in the HR space.

Niyati Agarwal, Morph.ai

Morph.ai is a powerful AI-based marketing automation tool designed to facilitate businesses on Facebook, WhatsApp, website and other platforms. Niyati Agarwal, a graduate from NIT, Allahabad with over 6 years of experience in social media marketing and enterprise SaaS, co-founded Morph.ai with her friends Abhishek Gupta, Pratik Jain, and Vipul Garg in March 2016 to improve customer experience and reduce costs using Chatbots in businesses.

Niyati’s vision was to build a B2B platform for conversational services for businesses on different platforms. Featured as one of India’s top ten AI startups, Morph.ai attends to customized marketing needs and engagement on chat to increase conversions for online businesses. Lead conversions have shown a 20% boost for over 150 clients worldwide across 5 geographies – India, USA, UK, Middle East and Australia. It has bagged $50,000 in revenues over a period of just 5 months post seed funding and with a yearly revenue of $100,000.

Suriya Prabha, YouCode

Suriya Prabha, YouCode is a social entrepreneur. Picture courtesy: Analytics India Magazine
Suriya Prabha, YouCode is a social entrepreneur. Picture courtesy: Analytics India Magazine

Suriya Prabha, a woman entrepreneur, started Youcode so that rural children could learn about electronics and coding. Starting her career as a creative graphic designer, she dedicated herself to the cause of taking artificial intelligence to villages. She believes in Mahatma’s quote, “The future of India lies in its villages”. Her vision is to enable computing skills in children and prepare them towards building an intellectual, incredible and innovative India.

Youcode uses play-way teaching methods to teach Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to underprivileged children in rural towns. Suriya was inspired to teach computing to rural children when she heard of big corporates like Amazon and Google teaching AI to kids in the US and other Western countries. Youcode Intelligence Solutions is self-funded and supported by the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), the ICICI Foundation and PTR College of Engineering in Virudhunagar. It also aims to tap CSR funding for AI education in villages. Suriya desires to make a mark as a woman entrepreneur in the field of technology education.

Ashwini Asokan, Mad Street Den

Ashwini Asokan, Mad Street Den. Picture courtesy: YourStory
Ashwini Asokan, Mad Street Den. Picture courtesy: YourStory

Mad Street Den is jointly founded by Ashwini Asokan, a graduate in Visual Communication, and her husband, Anand Chandrasekaran, and offers AI-based retail solutions automating visual merchandising, social marketing, catalogue management, etc. It enables users to capture smiles, detect facial expressions and emotions through smartphone cameras. They also founded vue.ai, an image recognition platform for apparel retailers to reduce operational costs by improving product visibility.

Japan based KDDI – Global Brain Japan Corporation has funded the initiative. With a collective total funding for $30M by Sequoia Capital, Falcon Edge Capital, KDDI and Startup Equity Partners, the annual revenue is estimated to be around $27M. Ashwini was featured on Fortune’s 40 under 40 and has also been featured in publications including Forbes, TechCrunch, Nikkei, and Vogue. With its accelerated growth, the company has expanded into other verticals including healthcare, education, finance and more.

Geetha Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur, Niramai

Niramai uses big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide automated, and accurate healthcare services. The automation of the healthcare system has an enormous potential for providing quality access to healthcare services and for reducing the overall costs for patients.

Geetha Manjunath, a computer scientist by profession and her colleague, Nidhi Mathur set out to find out an affordable method for early detection of breast cancer when some of their relatives had to undergo painful procedures to receive the diagnosis of breast cancer. They developed an innovative AI-enabled diagnostic platform that uses AI-enabled thermal sensing to detect cancer without using touch or invasive and painful procedures like mammography. Niramai focuses on overcoming social stigmas in healthcare and can be easily adopted in countries with high populations.

Niramai has received a total funding of $7M as of early 2019. Niramai’s Thermalytix that detects abnormalities in the body is being used across hospitals and diagnostic centers in major cities.

(Edited by Neha Baid)

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