Asokan Ashok, CEO of UnfoldLabs, an Innovative & Strategic Product Development Company in Mobile & Cloud Platform Technologies. Ashok has expertise in driving customer insights into thriving businesses and commercializing products for scale. He is an expert in Innovation / Ideation of next generation products & services with technology, recommending strategies to address technology & market trends as well as strategic alliances. He is a respected speaker at international tradeshows and conferences on technology. He authors technology, visionary articles for magazines around the world. He is an expert on software platform technologies & product innovation.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
Over the past 30+ years in my career, I have always focused on emerging technologies and product innovation because of which I have a sound basic knowledge on how things work. I also started my career on embedded systems that involved hardware/software integration and innovation, which set me towards the path of OS internals, OS/Compilers/Interpreters and then platforms. Always worked on core technology domains that have helped me gain the right knowledge and innovate more towards the future.
I have always been fascinated by the speed of change in the technology business, and having worked for multiple technology companies, formed my dream entrepreneurial venture UnfoldLabs in 2015. Working with an awesome, forward-thinking team fuelling my thoughts and interest in Emerging Technologies and Innovation, am in the perfect spot to learn the latest and greatest technologies.
What sub-topics are you most passionate about?
Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella that covers many sub-technologies. Specifically, I am more passionate about Machine Learning, Robotics, Expert Systems, Speech Processing, Natural Language Processing, and Platforms. With the advent of smart phones, mobility has a greater reach than any other technology. It’s amazing to see how different technologies like AI, NLP, AR, and VR are getting integrated to give consumers a personalized interaction, personalized campaigns, personalized news feeds and personalized deliveries and many more personalized products.
Who influences you within these topics?
What challenges are brands facing in this space?
I feel that there are many challenges in the emerging areas of Artificial Intelligence. Here are some of the few challenges that I see in this space:
- Bridging the gap between proof of concept and rollout; many initiatives stop after proving a technology solution that subsequently appears to match a commercial requirement.
- Developing a responsible and ethical solution; too many AI technologies compromise personal security and privacy.
- Solutions that are not created equally for every problem. It takes a lot of effort to find the right AI solution for the right problem.
- Too much noise – there is so much noise around emerging topics like AI, takes time to sift through them to get to the right perspectives and understanding.
What do you think the future holds in this space?
From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go back to sleep, technology is everywhere. The highly digital life we live, and the development of our technological world have become the new normal. For many years, AI has been rapidly expanding, and the latest pandemic has just accelerated this trend. AI firms and solutions are springing up all over the place, and this trend will continue.
Too many solutions come to market making outrageous claims and using mysterious algorithms; the future must be one in which these solutions can be trusted and are beneficial to everyone everywhere. The future is coming, and sooner than you think. These emerging technologies will change the way we live.
Consolidation will happen and the larger players will consolidate the smaller players.
What brands are leading the way in this space?
As you might assume, many of the major Tech Companies are pioneering Artificial Intelligence to help humanity grow, but demonstrating that they are responsible, ethical, and unbiased remains a challenge. Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM are leading the way … and when they find something interesting seem to be on an M&A spree.
What are your passions outside of work?
I strongly believe in growing, glowing and agree with all work – no play makes joy a dull boy. Outside of work I love to be outdoors, traveling, walking, and spending time with family. I look out to garden on my weekends – helps me relax, to think of new ideas, being patient and find focus.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
Feel free to reach out via LinkedIn and Twitter – As an influencer, I am active on most of the Social Platforms.
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