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Digital disruptions by Sudha Jamthe

November 14, 2017
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As part of the BTS Transformation Series event, Sudha Jamthe came from Silicon Valley to Barcelona Technology School to speak with the students about how Machine Learning and AI technologies are creating disruptions and how the digital transformation is changing different fields and perspectives of today’s businesses.

About Sudha:

Sudha describes herself as a technology futurist, she is passionate about digital disruptions and sharing that knowledge with others. She came from an Engineering background, however, she has spent more than 25 years in the business side, helping companies to combine both points of views, tech, and business, as she did it for E-Bay as Business Leader, for example; now she is the CEO of IoT Disruptions. She is an Internet of Things thought leader and a day-to-day learner of different technologies.

On the other hand, she loves mentoring people and helping to build future digital leaders, one of the reasons why she is chair of the BTS Strategic Advisory Board and student’s Mentor in 2017 both edition of the Master in Digital Solutions Development and the Master in Big Data Solutions.

Disruptive technologies:

Sudha started her Transformation Series speech speaking about the value of having a blended profile, between technology and business, as the one BTS students are acquiring in the Master’s degrees. With both sets of skills, the students can own and build businesses, do interesting jobs, they can understand technology and digital disruptions to build business value based on those skills.

Her speech was focused on introducing some technologies with the objective to open their minds and show the students how these are creating business value in a variety of industries: Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision and automated vehicles.

She spoke about IoT and how giving connectivity to ordinary things could solve problems or specific situations in an interesting way. As an example, we can mention the wearables, devices able to provide valuable information, such as the smartwatch that could record the exercise activity and health statistics and progress of a person in the daily routine.

Machine learning is a new paradigm of programming where taking advantage of data such as customer behavior, videos, images, cells in our bodies, anything that can be digitized an analyzed, the computer identifies patterns and based on it, helps the human to make a decision. With this, there is a huge potential for Artificial Intelligence, in fact, Sudha mentioned how several companies are using AI applied to different categories, such as robots, drones, gesture control, virtual assistance, computer vision, etc.

On the other hand, she spoke about Deep Learning which is an advanced version of machine learning, in which the computer itself identifies the patterns and reaches conclusions as these would be thought by a human. In this sense, the computer can learn and make intelligent decisions on its own and keeps improving according to the results. The self-driving car, for instance, has to decide at a certain moment whether if it has to move forward or to stop. A human cannot image all possible scenarios and teach the car to make correct decisions. Deep Learning helps the car build the models to make accurate decisions on the road. The autonomous vehicles use different technologies such as computer vision to slide the frames and make sense of it, then they use machine learning to feed the data and identify the different objects and finally decide.

Sudha brought to the table those technologies and their applicability to explain to the BTS students how important it is to understand them. The students, as future digital transformation leaders, need to be smart enough about technology in a business context, they need to know the power of data, its boundaries and how it is being applied.

Developing complementary skills:

Besides being at the “top of tech”, there are some other important aspects to take into consideration when leading a digital project, as to have soft skills such as:

  • Customer empathy. It is important to understand the customer needs to develop digital solutions that optimize their user experience.
  • Collaborative leadership. Whether you are a business or a technology person, you would need to work as a team.
  • The value of curiosity to exploit the imagination. To ask questions and to think in all the possibilities and scenarios of what could happen, understand where is the potential in order to get the most of those technologies and build something big.

In this sense, everything is connected, it is not just knowing technology, it is important to combine these skills with a business oriented vision and with soft skills to have an integral picture of a good digital solution.

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