Advancing the Value of Ethnography

On AI Natives and the Business of AI


Pizza robots, pandemic trackers, altered carbon, the perfect tiktok lineup, that instagram lipstick filter, that racist sensor that filtered the victim, national citizen trackers, my deepfaked face on Okoye’s body while I slay Kill Monger’s men….We live in an AI world. Nascent and frivolous as it may seem to some, it powers billions of lives quietly everyday, both visibly and invisibly, thanks to the ubiquity of data and screens. But who are the creators? Who decides how people are controlled? How is AI designed? Who cares? Who is a citizen of an AI inhabited world? This talk explores the idea of an AI-Native, in a world largely being designed by the businesses of AI.

Ashwini Asokan is the CEO & Co-Founder of Mad Street Den, a computer vision and artificial intelligence company. The team’s mission is to build models of generalizable intelligence and create meaningful experiences with AI on scale, helping millions of people across the globe to become AI native. Working across US, India, LatAm, Europe, UAE and Japan, the team has been known to build some of the most cutting edge AI tech, while bringing about significant change in how companies think about the future with AI. The company’s first vertical,, helps the retail industry reimagine work and the future of their industry through AI solutions purpose built for them.

Ashwini returned to India from Silicon Valley after more than a decade, to bootstrap her startup which she founded with her husband, Anand Chandrasekaran, a neuroscientist. Ashwini has been exploring how artificial intelligence can be brought out of the science and tech labs of the world, applied meaningfully and made accessible to people across the globe. Prior to starting her own company, she led mobile innovation efforts as part of Intel Labs in California, driving research and development of AI and mobile products.