2 Sep 2019, 09:18

Spotlight on the community: Talking computer vision with Obins Chaudhary

In this series of blogs, we will be shining the spotlight on data scientists in the Zindi community.

We recently spoke with Obins Chaudhary who will be a mentor at Zindi’s upcoming hackathon in Johannesburg on 3 September. Obins is no stranger to all things AI and machine learning. Previously the VP of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Barclays Africa, he is now developing his own startup in Johannesburg that helps unprivileged communities.

He acquired his Electronics and Telecommunication engineering degree in India, and then moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to further pursue his interest in AI. Obins was always excited about automation and optimization which led him to an actuarial science job at Liberty Life where he played around with data. Implementing better modelling techniques to improve evaluation processes urged him to learn advanced machine learning techniques.

Obins says he is mostly self-taught from MOOC courses and hands-on implementations. He says, “because there are too many courses available on the internet, it’s very easy to get lost and spend a lot of money and time. Key courses that took me to the next level are Andrew Ng’s course on machine learning and deep learning. Fast AI short courses are brilliant and very practical. Kaggle provides that larger community and forum, learning from the experiences of other data experts. I am pretty sure we are building a similar strong community for data science and AI in Africa through Zindi.”

Computer Vision

Obin’s interest in computer vision and machine learning has led him to work in various jobs. At Liberty Life he worked as an actuarial scientist and was responsible for natural language solutions using advanced statistical algorithms that were able to resolve customer queries.

He is a firm believer that computer vision must serve a purpose and solve people’s problems. Which was the basis of his work that included understanding the customer’s problem and using real time data to solve it.

Computer vision has developed hugely over the past decade and Obins believes it will solve real world problems that have largely been ignored in the past.

We also spoke to Obins about the role of computer vision in areas like health (through robotics and laparoscopic surgeries), customer service (through computer vision combined with augmented reality), and assisting people who are visually impaired (through smart glasses).

Obins believes that what computer vision has done so far is only the tip of the iceberg and there is still more to be developed from this field of research. Look out for our next blog on computer vision!

Zindi MIIA Hackathon event

We are excited for Obins to join Zindi as a mentor at our upcoming Machine Learning Hackathon at the AI Summit at Leaderex on the 3rd of September where he will be enlightening young data scientists on the use and importance of AI and computer vision. His experience in data analysis and life-long interest in machine learning will prove helpful for the challenge. If you want to meet Obins, please register for the Leaderex conference below.

About the Zindi MIIA Hackathon at Leaderex

Zindi is teaming up with the Machine Learning Institute of Africa (MIIA) to host the first machine learning hackathon to take place at Leaderex. The hackathon will be held at the AI Summit at Leaderex and will take place from 10:00 to 17:00 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. If you are planning to be at Leaderex, be sure to check-out the AI Summit and come to the Zindi MIIA Hackathon! Contact us at zindi@zindi.africa for more details.