Silicon Valley Insights presents Amazon’s Sudheera Vanguri

Silicon Valley Insights returns this month with a program packed with a bunch of red hot topics. You are not gonna want to miss out! Trust us.

Sudheera Vanguri, a senior product manager at Amazon Web Services in charge of Amazon Lex and other AWS consoles, will be sitting down with STRV COO Lubo Smid to discuss, among other things, AI, chatbots and Deep Learning.

Sudheera will be stopping by Brno on May 23 before heading up to Prague on May 25. Buy your tickets for this exclusive event today! Seating is limited. The fireside chat will be in English with networking (and beer) to follow.

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In the meantime, Sudheera gave us a sneak peek into what’s new at AWS, how Amazon Lex is going to revolutionize the tech world and her favorite way to unwind in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Tell us your Silicon Valley story — what brought you to the epicenter of the tech world?

I started my career as a full-stack developer at Yahoo Inc in Bangalore, India as a new college hire. After a four-year stint, I quit Yahoo for an e-commerce startup. Yahoo then offered me a position in its headquarters in Sunnyvale and sponsored my relocation on an L1 (international transfer) visa. This led me to Silicon Valley. Working in technology companies in general — both in Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, and California — has been equally fun and fulfilling.

Let’s talk about Amazon Lex. What does this new platform mean for consumers?

Amazon Lex is a service for building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. Amazon Lex provides the advanced deep learning functionalities of automatic speech recognition (ASR) for converting speech to text and natural language understanding (NLU) to recognize the intent of the text to enable you to build applications with highly engaging user experiences and lifelike conversational interactions.

And how specifically will Lex aid developers?

With Amazon Lex, the same deep learning technologies that power Amazon Alexa are now available to any developer, enabling any developer to quickly and easily build sophisticated, natural language, conversational bots (“chatbots”).

Speech recognition and natural language understanding are some of the most challenging problems to solve in computer science, requiring sophisticated deep learning algorithms to be trained on massive amounts of data and infrastructure. Amazon Lex democratizes these deep learning technologies by putting the power of Amazon Alexa within the reach of all developers. Harnessing these technologies, Amazon Lex enables developers to define entirely new categories of products made possible through conversational interfaces.

What do you like about working with AI?

Natural language understanding and conversational voice interfaces has been an exciting focus area for me from a product standpoint. In addition, building products that enable other developers to harness the power of AWS to build AI-enabled applications provides the opportunity to multiply impact.

What advice can you share for those who are eager to land a job with one of the Valley’s IT giants?

For engineering roles, plenty of resources are available online. Prepare well, write code and practice. Most major tech companies have a presence in various places around the world outside Silicon Valley and offer challenging roles to tap local talent. That’s a great place to start.

What do you like about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?

I love biking and hiking in the SF Bay Area – there are plenty of scenic trails to choose from!

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