Sr. Director, Data & Machine Learning Center of Excellence (COE)
Ms. Srujana Kaddevarmuth is a Sr. Director of Data & Machine Learning, Center of Excellence (COE), at Walmart. With over 15 years of machine learning expertise, Ms. Srujana has held positions with Accenture and Hewlett Packard all in data science leadership capacities prior to joining Walmart. She has numerous data science articles published in elite journals like The Harvard Business Review and INFORMS, among others. She is an innovator with multiple US patent filings to her credit.
Apart from the doctoral program from Purdue University in Technology Innovation, she earned her MBA in Operational Research, and Executive graduation in Strategy Management from Harvard University and completed the Executive Program for Women Leaders at Stanford University. She serves on the organizing committee and as an ambassador of WiDS, Stanford University. Being an avid advocate of using AI for social good she serves on the board of United Nations Association, SF, and advocates on using AI to attain global sustainable development goals.
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Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
Post engineering, I had an opportunity to work on a humongous amount of data, giving me first-hand, real-world exposure to the domain of data science. I was fascinated by the potential of this field. On pursuing higher studies in the machine learning domain, I started my career as a data scientist. Solving multiple intriguing problems in the customer domain helped me explore new realms of application of artificial intelligence.
Developing deep expertise not only in the artificial intelligence domain but also in the domain of building enterprise solutions at scale helped me move up the organizational ladder and serve in leadership positions across various tech companies including the Fortune One company, Walmart. At Walmart I get to lead the artificial intelligence portfolio building next gen solutions to create unique shopping experiences for our customers globally.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
If we want to go fast we should walk alone. If we want to go far we need to walk together. People help us succeed, not just the projects. Build trust in the ecosystems and bring people along the journey.
With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?
We are on the cusp of an artificial intelligence revolution. We have started uncovering new dimensions of artificial intelligence applications with the evolution of quantum computing and generative algorithms. To bias our future towards positive outcomes of improving our longevity and creating sustainable ecosystems, we need to ensure responsible and ethical usage of data & artificial intelligence technologies.
With the democratization of data and productization of data science, the role of Chief Data & Artificial Intelligence Officer (CD & AIO) will evolve to be focused on building sustainable and ethical solutions that will aid the development of human centric solutions.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?
We are in the age of data deluge with around 1.1 trillion megabytes of data getting generated every single data. When such large, heterogeneous, and messy data is available at our disposal, it becomes the responsibility of the leaders in the key data and AI roles to ensure responsible generation and consumption of this data and algorithms to attain sustainable outcomes.
Algorithms can have unintended consequences and can institutionalize the bias. Hence leaders in the data and AI domain should focus on protecting data and algorithms, protecting consumers' right to privacy and enhancing transparency in the development and deployment of these algorithms.
Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
I come from a family of academicians, and I practice meditation and energy healing.
What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?
I am looking forward to interacting with like-minded peers, contributing to the community and learning from collective experiences.
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