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My Journey towards Data Science and AI

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Hello everyone, My name is Ashish Pal, and currently working as a Senior Machine learning Engineer at Twilio. Have experience in Healthcare and Retail domains and have worked with some of the best organizations like Philips, Siemens Healthineers, and Accenture.

Along with that I am actively involved in mentoring and coaching students and working professionals in data science and machine learning at Upgrad, Great Learning, Scaler, GrowthSchool etc.. and have mentored over 3000+ working professionals and students.


Well coming to my journey toward AI or Data science or machine learning whatever you name started at my college. Back in 2011 when I started college in electronics and communication there was one thing that attracted me the most that is Robotics.

So, I was more interested in making things and seeing what we can do with these microcontroller boards and actuators like pneumatics pumps, motors, etc. to make.

The world was different 10 years back but automation and robotics was the first thing which excited me the most and still I feel the same.

I participated in various robotics events including the IIT tech-fest to ROBOCON which is Asia's biggest robotics event. But getting a carrier in robotics was not an easy option as it was quite a research-oriented field and getting a job at that time was quite difficult as not enough opportunities were there, especially in India.

I started my journey as a data analyst at Accenture. I was excited to begin working on projects related to Retail Merchandise Financial Planning and Assortment Planning. I quickly settled into my role and began working on ways to automate the tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with these projects. I discovered that using RPA (Robotic Process Automation) tools could significantly improve efficiency and accuracy.

With my newfound knowledge and love of data and automation, I was able to develop automation solutions that saved my team a significant amount of time and resources. My hard work and dedication paid off as I was able to make a real impact on the company's bottom line.

As I progressed in my career as a data analyst, I realized that data is the future. I became increasingly interested in growing my skills in data science and AI. Determined to take my career to the next level, I began upskilling myself through various online courses and materials. I was able to gain the knowledge and skills I needed to make a successful transition to a role as a Data Scientist at Siemens Healthineers. Once there, I was able to put my newfound expertise to work and contribute to the company's efforts to improve healthcare outcomes through the use of data and AI. Feeling a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment, I knew that my decision to upskill myself and make the transition to a data science role was the right one.

After my successful tenure at Siemens Healthineers as a data scientist, I got an opportunity to join Philips where I was able to work on cutting-edge medical imaging solutions and research. I was particularly excited about the opportunity to work on medical image segmentation for cardiac imaging. I led the team that developed an advanced algorithm for this purpose. Along with the algorithmic development, I also got the opportunity to lead the MLOPS initiative. The experience I gained from working on these projects and leading the initiative helped me to grow in my career and I was able to take on more responsibilities and make a greater impact at the company.

After gaining experience in medical imaging and research, I realized that I was more interested in taking my AI work to production and working on end-to-end AI production development.

I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to do just that when I joined Twilio. We started off by building a real-time fraud detection system. I was part of a small team of just 2 people, but in just one year, we grew in numbers and even took our Fraud Guard product from a proof of concept to production. This had a huge impact on revenue and upselling. It was a challenging and rewarding experience to be part of a team that took an idea from concept to reality, and it was even more satisfying to see the positive impact it had on the company. I was grateful for the opportunity to work on such a meaningful project and to be able to contribute to the company's success in this way.

Alongside my corporate experience, I was also actively involved in coaching and mentoring students and working professionals in data science and AI. I worked with various Edtech startups such as Upgrad, Great Learning, Scaler, GrowthSchool, and Newton School to name a few. Over the last 4 years, I mentored over 3,000 students.

I found it extremely fulfilling to be able to share my knowledge and experience with others and help them to achieve their goals. I enjoyed being a part of their journey as they learned new skills and took steps towards a successful career in data science and AI. I believe that mentoring and coaching is an important aspects of personal and professional development and will continue to be involved in this field.

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