Interview with Dr. Sarvjeet Herald
Dr. Sarvjeet Herald
Director – Artificial Intelligence & Mechatronics at RoboGenius
Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?
I started learning coding at the age of 10 to solve math problems, throughout my school life I coded many utility tools, games and GUIs apps. These projects along with marks helped me clear the St. Stephen’s college interview for Computer Science degree. At college, I started freelancing on coding and web development projects. Meeting Nandan Nilekani of Infosys in the college was a life changer.
I went to U.K. for Master’s degree at University of Hertfordshire, scored A1’s in all the subjects to become university topper whilst continuing freelancing. Here, I solved an important web security issue and published my research in an international academic journal.
I joined Xerox R&D as a functional and linguistic tester and earned a rare promotion within a month of joining to participate in agile software development for innovative printing machines. PhD was something I always wanted to do. My academic performance, projects, publication, work experience and innovative, enquiring and problem-solving mindset helped me secure a funded PhD position at the Hertfordshire.
However, I moved on to Northumbria University in U.K. where along with fully funded PhD position, I taught undergraduates and postgraduates. After that as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Southampton University, I became part of the team led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Along with Fraunhofer and industry partners we showcased tech at the world’s largest expo in in Germany.
With rich experience and exposure, I returned to India – the new land of opportunities. I started evangelizing student-led research in various academic institutions in India and invited industry to complete the innovation ecosystem. As my coding journey started at the young age, at RoboGenius we give school-going students exciting opportunity to code, create, innovate and publish projects revolving around Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
Our not for profit, India STEM foundation does the similar for underprivileged students across India with the support corporates. It always makes me proud when our school students demonstrate their geniuses at the international stage to become global citizens and secure their dreams, just like me!
Q2. What did attract you Artificial Intelligence and Mechatronics Domain?
I think, as a child, watching an old sitcom called Small Wonder where an engineer creates a robot V.I.C.I. and then his family develops a strong bond with her. It is still a distant future, but along with it how can I explain the reasoning, behavior and actions taken by these machines and develop trust – Explainable AI (XAI). By the way, we are working on it at RoboGenius!
Q3. How do you motivate yourself at every morning?
I wake up at 5am. The first two hours are dedicated to bible reading, prayer and exercise. Then only I look at mobile phone. Sunday’s, I run on highways, each time a different location.
Q4. How much Artificial Intelligence change the world after 10 years?
Artificial Intelligence is already everywhere around us and is guiding us daily in our personal and professional lives. Year on year the growth is exponential. Every year we will have more data, better knowledge and more startups with innovative and better solutions. Every individual will leverage their A.I. skills to succeed professionally.
Q5. What was your Thesis topic in Ph.D? Please share some brief about it?
My PhD looked at studying the population of dynamic audio assets. Every time you convert an audio (song, music or speech) into a different format and quality it loses verifiable evidence to prove that the two copies are the same audio. This makes digital rights management on the web problematic.
However, if a human has heard a song before, he/she will immediately be able to match and recognize. My thesis presented a new digital solution by mimicking how humans to do this, but in a more accurate and faster manner. This work was later extended for images and video assets and a patent was filed for verifying dynamic media assets.
Q6. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
I think more like machines and algorithms, maybe I can be more human one day. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Q7. Which one is the hardest part of any Artificial Intelligence Project?
High Quality Data for A.I to learn. Although Data could be collected using sensors or scrappers but it is not widely deployed. Data collection is a very labor some and time-consuming job, we need professionals who can help curate high quality data in different disciplines. This is a new and emerging profession!
Q8. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?
Coding and Artificial Intelligence skill, it helped me do well even in the pandemic.
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