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Hey Watson, Who is One of the Most Influential Women in AI?

You’ve just entered into a talk at one of the world’s leading events in artificial intelligence. You recognize some of the greatest minds in AI and technology all around you. But wait, who’s that young woman at the front of the room? Hey Watson, a little help here?

ai speaker aku srikanth
Speaker Aakriti Srikanth

You’ve just entered into a talk at one of the world’s leading events in artificial intelligence. You recognize some of the greatest minds in AI and technology all around you. But wait, who’s that young woman at the front of the room? Hey Watson, a little help here?

Deemed by influential Fortune 500 leaders as the “Woman in AI to Watch out For,” Aakriti Srikanth is a pioneer in artificial intelligence. Aakriti has worked for leading technology and strategy corporations such as Red HatIBM WatsonDeloitte and D. E. Shaw & Co.

Far from a stereotypical cold and calculated engineer, Aakriti has forged her career by combining technical product leadership with strong charisma and a desire for perfection. She is a keynote speaker, mentor, and a judge for major AI events, and often leads talks on the topics of women in AI and technology.

Aakriti’s association with artificial intelligence got started during the AI boom that kicked off after Watson won against the Jeopardy! grand champion. Aakriti participated and won at IBM Watson’s competition at OSU, where college students were tasked with asking Watson any question. Aakriti was a National Finalist along with her team.

She served as the brain behind the IBM Watson University App and credits much to the elite team she worked with. “That was the best team — our skills ranged from Natural Language processing to data science to business skills for a successful pitch at the Watson HQ in NYC.”

Since then, Aakriti has launched AI and cloud computing products for companies on the Fortune 500, including IBM Watson itself. These products have been in high demand all across the world. Aakriti humbly credits this success to the team behind IBM Watson. Beyond her extensive scope of work, Aakriti tirelessly supported the team and organized employee mentoring sessions and team events to help them grow.

In addition to her initiatives inside IBM, Aakriti led the Boston Data Science initiative. “It was inspiring to bring everyone together to share our experiences and help each other,” said Aakriti. This initiative grew to include over 800 members, including data scientists from companies such as Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Spotify, and Amazon.

Through her roles at events like these, Aakriti’s influence has moved far beyond IBM. Senior Director of Salesforce Shanmugam Palaniappan commended how “Aakriti carefully follows through, and makes herself approachable and open to feedback in the spirit of continuous learning.”

“Aakriti’s impact in the technology space is unique in that it embodies everything Silicon Valley stands for,” said Luis Serrano, Head of Content AI at Udacity. “Her knowledge in AI and other technical fields is very deep, her business and product marketing experience is top notch, and her will and passion to help others and contribute to the community are outstanding. She is a very complete leader, and certainly enriches the technology space with her talent and passion.”

What’s important to Aakriti isn’t passing around business cards, but taking time to recognize the people behind them. She says, “small things matter. It’s about treating people the way you want to be treated. Everyone wants to feel valued and recognized for the work that they do. We are all human at the end of the day.” She credits some of this to New York Times bestselling author Harrison Monarth and Red Hat Director, Bill Wright. She revealed a lesson she learned from Bill Wright, “it’s H2H, or human-to-human, not B2C or B2B.”

Aakriti has made a great impact and has played a critical role during her time. “She is constantly thinking outside the norm and bringing forth highly creative ideas, which in turn add tremendous value to our organization,” said Bill Wright. “Connective intelligence is her key virtue, and she is superb at creating partnerships. I feel that Aakriti has a great innate ability to contribute strategic vision to any initiative. She is an eternal optimist, and applies a very positive outlook to every task she takes on.”

She also spearheaded the introduction of the pragmatic marketing approach by conducting methodical customer interviews in advance of new product and services initiatives. “I was impressed with her ability to quickly form relationships with C-level executives, and initiate business partnerships in a matter of minutes,” said Bill Wright. Her charisma and drive are what has led her to be chosen as a mentor, judge, and panelist for industry events while still in her twenties.

She was recently invited to host a Personal Branding webinar for members of The Expat Woman. “[Aakriti] is incredibly professional and knowledgeable, and has gone above and beyond both as a mentor and speaker,” said Nyna Pais Caputi, CEO and Founder at The Expat Woman. “The quality of content, her insights and the mentorship she offered were exceptional.”

With a tireless work ethic, Aakriti has made valuable contributions to her industry in a very short time. Her desire to forge connections has led her to become an inspirational voice for women making their way in technology and AI. “Traditionally, as women, we’re satisfied with what we want, and we don’t ask for more,” said Aakriti, “Something that successful women such as Marceline Uttarkar and Sarah Clatterbuck taught me is that if you don’t expect acceptance from someone, no one is going to give it to you.”

Connect with Aakriti on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/aakritisrikanth
Follow Aakriti on Twitter: @AakritiSrikanth
Contact Aakriti via her website: aakritisrikanth.com
Subscribe to Aakriti’s Youtube Channel
Check out her video on Personal Branding

Originally published on Entrepreneur.com

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