08.12.2014|Personal Tech

The Man Who Makes Machines Smarter

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When Ashok Srivastava was 8 years old, he became fascinated with predicting the weather based on data. At 16, he became obsessed with knowing what drove the stock market. Today, Ashok applies that analytical mind and boundless curiosity to his role as Verizon’s Chief Data Scientist, tasked with creating intelligent systems that are the cornerstone of our technological innovations.

Ashok worked happily for NASA for many years before Verizon enticed him to make a move and build a new team focused on data, analytics and large-scale machine learning. “I knew it was a rare chance to play an instrumental role in transforming a Fortune 16 company while delivering social value to the public,” he says.

Forward-thinking people, innovative technology

Today, thanks to innovators such as Ashok, Verizon is at the forefront of the technology industry. “We run some of the largest and most complex networks in the world—both because of the sheer number of components involved and the extremely high degree of reliability and resiliency we require,” Ashok says. “We’re heading in the direction of building intelligent systems that can automatically sense issues and then use algorithms to make decisions in real time to address a problem before it becomes significant.”

“In my opinion, we’re going to see increasing levels of automation in almost all aspects of our lives. But from a Verizon standpoint, humans will always be part of the equation.” —Ashok Srivastava, Chief Data Scientist

The thought leaders who work diligently behind the scenes integrate data science and “intelligent” machines into an increasing number of powerful Verizon product solutions and networks. We’re co-creating connected products that move data reliably and securely and leverage new forms of data. We rapidly deploy apps that work with an increasingly dynamic cloud. We’re constantly enhancing our Mobile Workforce solutions to help organizations work faster and smarter.

Looking toward the future

We’ve only just started reaping the benefits of automation and intelligent systems. But we also recognize it’s the people behind these machines who truly drive change. Our Verizon Innovation Program helps companies (from start-ups to global players) bring products and services into the “Internet of Things” fold—combining their imagination and our technology systems to deliver solutions in education, healthcare, transportation and sustainability. Our Powerful Answers Award is an annual multimillion-dollar global challenge designed to solve the world’s biggest problems and promote social responsibility.

We embrace change and smarter machines and integrate them into our solutions for the good of society. But we need visionaries who will drive that innovation—and our continued technological success. “In my opinion, we’re going to see increasing levels of automation in almost all aspects of our lives,” says Ashok. “But from a Verizon standpoint, humans will always be part of the equation.”

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