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Salesforce/AI Leader Saiteja Chatrati Gives Insights into Tomorrow’s Technology and the Power of Women in STEM

Saiteja Chatrati is a recognized expert in Salesforce and artificial intelligence and is the acclaimed author of the best-selling “Salesforce Field Service: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating, Managing, and Automating Field Service,” which is sold in over 50 stores worldwide. Since earning her bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a master’s degree in Computer Science, she has used her extensive understanding of AI and machine learning to revolutionize how organizations interact with customers and to increase employee productivity. In a remarkably short time, Saiteja has emerged as one of her industry’s most innovative leaders. She is widely respected for her published research into the potential impact of ML on the dangers faced by patients with chronic medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes.

Below, Saiteja talks about the insights she has gained from leveraging AI to improve global society and championing the inclusion of women in STEM industries.

What has being a Technology Consultant/Subject Matter Expert in STEM taught you about the capabilities of women?

 

We can do anything! Seriously, I have been breaking barriers ever since I first sat in a classroom in India. It is true that STEM fields typically employ men. I haven’t let that stop me, however, as I believe that what you can contribute to a project is far more important than your gender. Thankfully, most of my male peers agree. They have been very supportive, which has facilitated wonderful collaborations and breakthroughs. That includes when I led my team to lower an I.T. department’s average ticket response time from two hours to only thirty minutes. That was an accomplishment we really celebrated, and it happened because we worked together. On the rare occasions that I have encountered resistance because I am a woman, I have found that over time, that man comes to respect what I can do. I let my skills and innovation speak for themselves.

What have these experiences taught me about the potential of women? I would say that we sometimes underestimate ourselves. The reasons for that vary, of course, but I am very focused on encouraging more women to challenge themselves to really go after their dreams of having a STEM career. As a core member of IEEE Women in Engineering, I find this incredibly important and rewarding.

How did authoring your book on Salesforce Field Service change you personally?

My book was a very fulfilling project and definitely brought out new abilities in me. While it was especially challenging in the beginning, as I had not written a book before, I dived into it because I saw a need to share my knowledge of how Salesforce can be used to enhance customer service and optimize response times. This was especially important to me because of its potential to empower frontline workers, ambulance workers, and fire safety professionals when they respond to emergencies. Helping them showed me how interconnected we all really are.

Also, becoming an author made me a better leader. When I revealed that I was writing this book, I was contacted by a lot of women who wanted to be part of this journey and contribute to its creation. I was ultimately joined by editors, technical reviewers, and subject matter experts, all of whom worked with me to make this book even stronger. It showed me that no matter how skilled you are, you can do so much more when you work with other talented people.

What are your insights into the intersection of artificial intelligence and healthcare?

This continues to excite me, as we are only just getting started with AI and leveraging it to build a better world, including in healthcare. We all know about the need for targeted solutions for patients who have chronic health conditions, especially because they may be nowhere near a doctor when an emergency arises. That’s especially concerning during a lockdown, as was the case during COVID.

I decided to research how AI could be used to help patients and determined it could be part of a remote home-health-monitoring system. It can be a game changer for them because ML can be used to predict abnormalities in blood sugar and blood pressure levels, with real-time alerts sent to registered doctors for immediate intervention. That means that their symptoms can be detected sooner, resulting in faster assistance from medical professionals and more positive outcomes. That’s all due to AI. I believe that we will find innovative uses for it if we are willing to research new solutions.

You have been an industry judge for the Globee Awards and Stevie Awards. What do you think of the next generation of STEM professionals?

They are amazingly talented. I had a wonderful time learning about their creations and visions for where our world will go because of AI and ML. What I am most inspired by is their willingness to think differently. They do not run from problems. Instead, they run towards them and really dig into them, seeing where the opportunities are. I love that kind of intellectual energy because that’s when breakthroughs happen that transform the world.

Do you think that we should put any limits to what we do with artificial intelligence?

No matter what technology we create, we will have to walk the line between improving society and giving away too much of our power to AI. I know that in my own work, I will always try to remain in control of technology instead of the other way around. It is a tool, one that we should use wisely. As long as we guide its evolution and use it for the good of humanity, we will continue to lead the world in the right direction.