In Conversation with Yashvi Gattani: One ‘Rising Star’ to the Next

Posted by Arina Karkhanis on Jul 22, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Arina Karkhanis

VentureBeat’s annual Women in AI Leadership Awards celebrate the female trailblazers in the field of Artificial Intelligence. This year, VidMob is thrilled to spotlight Yashvi Gattani as one of VentureBeat's “Rising Star” nominees. I was fortunate enough to have a virtual sit down with Yashvi, as she reflects on her budding career in data science and her impressive repertoire of achievements at VidMob. But beyond these data points, Yashvi shines a light on the more human aspects of her work and the critical role that mentorship has played in her professional life.

Blog Cover Image: VentureBeat Women in AI Rising Star Nominee Yashvi Gattani


The Limits of Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence has become the ultimate buzzword across industries, as emerging technologies promise to accelerate business growth like never before. But what does the data really do? Yashvi told me that the best part of data-driven solutions is that it services clients beyond their expectations. When reflecting on her highlights, Yashvi beamed about winning a J&J Burke Award for Data-Inspired Creative and a Glossy Award for VidMob’s collaboration with Neutrogena: “It was pretty surreal to see my data insights presented as a touchstone to optimize creative and live a life of its own. I also use Neutrogena products daily, so I couldn’t be more excited to work on this campaign!”

But servicing clientele isn’t limited to Fortune 500 companies alone. Yashvi has been a remarkable leader for the Data division at VidMob Gives. Yashvi and I worked closely together in a fully-fledged data-driven campaign with the CDC Foundation and the UN Foundation for their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Our work reminded me that data can be transformative: changing videos and lives.

Machine Learning has been an integral component of Yashvi’s research, enabling VidMob to deconstruct videos into bite-sized creative components. Although current ML solutions are sophisticated, they lack the practical knowledge and human experience to reach conclusive outcomes on their own. As Yashvi reminds us, “There’s a lot that you can’t pick up in standard AI models. What’s missing is the continuous stream of human input into machine learning models to enhance creative.” In response, Yashvi has helped curate the Human-in-the-Loop (HIL) -- an AI solution where ML matches a pattern but human input determines its validity and helps to refine the result. This fills in the gap of elements that AI cannot decipher in advertising campaigns, such as emotional & functional benefits and problem-solution story arcs.

The Human Touch in Tech

Yashvi’s efforts in developing Human-in-the-Loop translates seamlessly into her commitment to humanizing the workplace at VidMob, especially amongst women and underrepresented identities in tech. She recently co-started the VidMob Women's Network: an open forum for female employees to exchange business insights and support each other in their personal and professional pursuits. This served as a powerful corollary to Yashvi’s role in VidMob’s Mentor-Mentee program throughout the onboarding process, in which junior members can learn from senior mentors.

When asking Yashvi about her take on diversity in the workplace, she emphasized that it has always been a natural part of her life. “With over 50 nationalities represented in my class year in Singapore, I organically cultivated an open-minded vision in my social life and extracurricular activities. As VidMob continues to grow, it has been exciting to see us prioritize initiatives to diversify our internal workplace and broader creator community. Specifically, on the Data & Insights team, it’s been fulfilling to be one of the initial members and helping to grow the team to have a female majority, which is especially rare in a STEM field.”

Beyond the Data

To me, Yashvi is a powerful reminder that diversity and inclusion cannot be reduced to quotas or data alone. It necessitates constant engagement, re-examination, and human input. I decided to take advantage of my time with Yashvi and ended our conversation by asking for some wisdom. Here are Yashvi’s words of advice to young professionals, like me, as we navigate our careers. Take notes, everyone!

  • Bring enthusiasm and positive energy to every day despite the ups and downs.
  • Pace yourself through your career journey.
  • Never be scared to talk to anyone at any level, everyone was in your shoes once.

Yashvi’s VidMob ‘journey’ has been full of tackling challenges and extraordinary feats thus far. The best part is it’s just the beginning.