Hey Hackers! I’m Paran Sonthalia and I’m the CEO @ DeWaste.
First of all, a huge thank you to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me/us] for a 2021 Noonies award! [I’ve/We’ve been] nominated in the following categories please do check out these award pages and vote:
As a someone in the food waste industry, I believe that the most exciting technology of the present is computer vision because it can be used to analyze so much data that we don’t need humans to manually look at. Learn more about my thoughts and opinions on computer vision and my journey in the tech industry via the interview below.
I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of DeWaste and we work on reducing food waste in all dining institutions. We realized that so much food gets wasted simply because food institution managers don’t know what their customers want and it’s too expensive to find out. We do this in a very affordable way using computer vision in an effort to reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash.
DeWaste is a system that consists of a camera that automatically takes photos of food and then on the backend we analyze all of those photos to figure out what food is being thrown away. Then using this raw data, we come up with predictions on why this food is being thrown away and what can be done to reduce this food waste.
This just sort of ended up falling into my lap as I was in the dining hall at UC Berkeley and saw so much food being wasted. I knew that I had to do something about it and tackled this problem at Cal Hacks with my cofounder.
I’m most excited about advances in computer vision because the accuracy of models is getting better every day. This makes our data analysis more and more accurate because we can be more confident in the suggestions that we are providing.
Privacy is a bigger and bigger concern every day. Personally I’m not as paranoid about all the reasons that most people are worried but the parts where personal data is used to purposefully racially divide our communities is very worrying.
If not DeWaste, I’d invest this into companies working on space travel. I think there is a lot left to explore in space and we really have no idea what’s out there. The possibilities once we know what’s out there are endless because the Earth is nothing but a speck in the grand scheme of the uni/multiverse.
I’m currently studying computer science and data science at UC Berkeley. Outside of class I spend my time learning about advances in computing and learning about the latest innovation in automotive tech.
Be passionate about what you’re building. If you don’t care about the problem that you’re solving then you’ll never succeed. The passion in solving the problem is what will get you through the tough times because there will be tough times.
Hardware is hard. Michael Seibel from Y Combinator told us this when we were building our own hardware and encouraged us to find a different way. This is when we repurposed cheap Android phones to be our cameras instead of trying to build a camera system using Raspberry Pis.
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