Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview With Roy Daya, Founder & CEO of AppliedML

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1- Hello Roy, Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I am an expert in applied machine learning and applied AI which means that I have equal knowledge of AI and of various operational and industry niches which makes me valuable in finding the best places to use AI tools and techniques to create business value.

Since 2012 I travel the world and help startups and enterprises create real impact with AI.

I have done hundreds of successful projects and about a year ago we launched with my company AppliedML our first products which are in the field of computer vision which means to analyze images or video feeds and identify various situations that require immediate attention.

Before starting AppliedML I managed for 9 years a software company dealing with niche solutions and advanced analytics after realizing the world is shifting from statistical reactive analytics to AI and predictive analytics.

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I love solving problems and the tools and techniques available from the world of AI can introduce to organizations new ways of improving operations and reducing risks that are rarely available within the organization in the scope that I can provide so the synergy is very successful in many cases.  

2- What are your focus areas and why?

With my consulting projects I love to diversify and have experience with a very wide range of industries so not only I am prepared to jump right in but also I can in many cases identify similar problems in other industries and use tried and tested techniques already applied successfully elsewhere.

With our computer vision related products we focus on industrial and manufacturing industries, especially analyzing human behavior and interaction between people and objects, machines and materials. As industrial environments are complex and in many cases dangerous we have an opportunity there to both help saving lives by alerting on risky situations as well as optimizing operations in ways that would require long and expensive information integration and IOT projects. We can simply observe the situation as outsiders and see what is happening.

3- How do you describe AppliedML in few words?

AppliedML started as a specialized consulting company dealing with applying AI to real-life industrial and general business challenges and evolved to also offer off-the-shelf products to analyze feed from any regular security camera and fully understand the scenario and any work processes that are going on, enough to asses if things are done right or not and if there is danger in the situation for example if an item is placed on a top shelf in a way that it can fall down, locate and count items such as fire extinguishers and identify forklift mishandlings. There are literally hundreds of examples. In some cases, we even analyze animal interactions or even biomass growth.   

4- How do you think creative companies like yours are changing the future of AI?

In many cases cutting edge innovations are started with research but researchers only do enough to prove a point. Taking good ideas and creating business solutions from them requires a lot more effort. These interactions between cutting edge research and real business cases that needs to be solved can advance the field.

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Researchers choose what they want to prove and the limits and scope. When a commercial company does the same it must stay in touch with reality and solve a real world problem not just show a mathematical experiment in a void. When you need to show ROI it tends to be much harder but the satisfaction is equally this high.

Also solving real problems means that consecutive projects stay in focus and push the limits further in the same direction unlike research which is much more disparate all over the field according to research interests of the researcher.

5- What advice would you like to give to those just starting in the business world?

Be humble. Don’t go into the business world shouting solutions.First,  listen to as many people as you can and learn from them what problems they wish they had a solution for and where the budget will come from and who will make the decision and what are the alternatives.

Don’t develop solutions in the garage as much as possible. Connect to a real business and implement it with them on a real business situation and with real data.

Look at the business ecosystem which means all the players around your niche. The world is not just customers and suppliers. There are many people involved and some of the people who are very influential to your process might not be a customer or even directly involved.

6- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with your success?

Yes, I work very hard but many people work hard. I think that what really helps me advance is my ability to face the truth and ask the most critical questions and be willing to change immediately if needed.

7- If you could turn the time, what would you love to do in regards
to your career?

I think that because it is in my nature to keep evolving I am always at the best place for me at that time so I don’t think I would change anything.

8- What is the “one-word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding at making clients happy?

Clients are not organizations but specific people trying to improve a specific issue or advance in a specific way. Don’t lose touch with the aim of the person who gave you the project or challenge. You are there to make specific impact. Always be aligned with your executive sponsor regarding the aim and process and never surprise them by trying to solve other problems or changing the project because you think it is better for the organization.

9- Do you find as an expert, that you enjoy the challenge of an industry being complex and the game rules are always changing?

I am very analytical and very logical and I excel in complex environments where there is an advantage to being able to decipher the internal workings from millions of small elements. This is my advantage and also the types of projects that I love the most.

The joy of solving a business challenge for a customer is greater to me than the financial benefits which makes every project personal to me. I think this is critical for being very good in what you do.

10- The last word or final thoughts?

I think many people are focused on creating solutions. Sometimes finding the right problems to solve is the harder question and the one which leads to the most gains. For this you need to spend a lot of time talking to industry experts and researching until you find the best challenge for you to go up against.

It is better to have a partial solution to the right problem than to have a perfect solution to a problem no one wants to solve.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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