Debayan Deb: Providing Artificial Intelligence- Powered Solutions to Drive Innovation



by Analytics Insight

December 21, 2021

LENS Corporation is focused on providing an AI-powered solution to multiple problems by enabling machines to view and perceive. It provides state-of-the-art artificial intelligent in-house developed solutions while collaborating with multiple AI and ML developers across the world. Some of the ongoing projects of this company are infant fingerprint recognition, contactless fingerprints, and primate face recognition.

 

The Company that was Born Out of Bridging the Gap

Debayan Deb is Co-Founder and CEO of LENS Corporation. His fascination for computer vision quickly turned into a passion that was worth pursuing in 2015. Applied AI was the next big thing in the market back then and Debayanwanted to be a part of it. Not so long later, in 2016, he officially launched a company known as LENS with an aim to grow local businesses through AI.

To solidify his understanding of the market and to gain knowledge in computer vision, Debayan started his Ph.D. with one of the pioneers of modern-day biometrics, Dr. Anil K. Jain. During his studies, he realized that the industry and academia have vastly different requirements; the latter primarily focuses on improving the accuracy of AI systems while operational efficiency is the key in the industry and then it became imperative for him to bridge this gap, and that’s where LENS came in. Now, LENS is at the forefront of cutting-edge, efficient, and trustworthy AI systems, paving a new path forward to create explainable and universally intelligent solutions.

 

Extensive Research that Paves the Way to Success

Debayan pointed out, “How we do it is just as important as why we do it” and exactly following it, LENS Corporation follows a three-step process to ensure solutions appeal to a wider range of audiences. The first step is the research on pushing the state-of-the-art. Then, it enhances the efficiency of solutions under various operational scenarios. Lastly, the team considers the social implications of algorithm-based decision-making and ensures that the AI systems are trained ethically-represented high-quality datasets to eliminate human cognitive biases fairly.

To stay ahead of the curve, it also publishes academic whitepapers with prominent researchers in the AI realm.

 

Leadership that Heads the Domain

Debayan mentioned that AI is one of the fastest-growing fields and disruptive technologies are widespread. To stay relevant, he said that it is crucial to keep one’s feet to the fire in both literature and academia.

He suggested being thirsty for acquiring knowledge by reading novel academic papers and also stressed that we should invest time in studying new emergent companies. “Gone are the times when a leader could only focus on managing the day-to-day. A leader must also constantly strive to understand where the domain is heading” says Debayan.

 

Holding Onto the Vision to Win Over the Hard Times

Early on, the team participated in pitch competitions where start-ups present business ideas, such as SpartyPitch and The Hatch. The idea of applying AI solutions to a variety of different applications secured a win that further validated the need for LENS.

In addition, pursuing a Ph.D. further intensified his understanding of the market and gave him an edge over competitors. It greatly accelerated the ability to see the near future and provided a vision to see where the field is heading. During the hardest of times, the team holds on to the same vision— wanting all machines to understand the world as humans do.

 

Traits of an AI Leader

According to Debayan, ‘visualizing beyond today’ should be a foremost quality in an AI leader. Understanding the impact of technology is equally important to sustain the greatest of challenges.

He asserts that at times, AI is more of an art than a science. In research, there may be some crossroads wherein numerous directions seem feasible and hence Debayan believes that it is vital to trust the instincts, rather than coming to a standstill where logic is unable to find a path forward. “As a leader, one should be working collaboratively with the team to find optimal solutions to hard problems” he claims.

 

Words of Wisdom for the Budding Leaders

Since this branch of computer science has been non-conventional till now, it might seem there is a dearth of opportunities— which is a common myth.

Debayan believes that AI has been on the rise for a few years now and solutions that satisfy market requirements are not met by the available supply of researchers and engineers. Many niches have also been overlooked by academia and industry alike.

His advice would be to take the leap of faith, study the market, believe in the skills, and develop your own ideas. He wishes all the budding leaders or executives the best of luck!

 

Empowering Tough Times to Meet Deliverables

In order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition, LENS decided to be a research-first company, instead of making available solutions to mundane problems. The team also decided to be 100% bootstrapped – the idea being that the pace of growth will be directly impacted by the quality of research, which has worked in its favor. Internally, Debayan expresses that when one starts to expand the team while collaborating with the team(s), working on multiple ideas needs to be streamlined to keep on track so that the deliverables are met through agile sprints.

 

The Future Towards Instilling Trust, Fairness and Security

The company’s motto states, “Trustworthy AI”. Yes, that’s the idea for the next decade. Now that AI systems are saturating in terms of accuracy in many domains, Debayan wishes to see new AI systems that excel in— accuracy, efficiency, explainability, and transparency.

The solutions, while maintaining the necessary intellectual property rights for clients, customers, and end-users, include a guarantee to leverage everything at our disposal to ensure complete transparency, till all “how” and “why” are answered satisfactorily.

Another area where AI is vastly overlooked is “AI for social good”. LENS actively provides solutions to global challenges including but not limited to, assigning digital ID (biometrics) to everyone (including infants and under-developed regions), by helping in conserving wildlife, forecasting natural disasters (for instance, via aerial imagery), and so on. The contributions towards this goal can go a long way towards instilling trust, fairness, and security for society at large.

LENS, which is complemented by a research-driven approach, strives to overcome some of the noted challenges of AI, such as ethical training and bias-free decision-making while preserving user privacy which is a key to transforming the industry ahead. LENS is building the future of AI, together.



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