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AiThority Interview with Humera Malik, CEO and Co-Founder at Canvass Analytics

AiThority Interview with Humera Malik, CEO and Co-Founder at Canvass Analytics

Please tell us about your journey into AI Tech and how you arrived at Canvass?

Prior to founding Canvass, I had come out of the world of IoT sensors & infrastructure deployment. it became evident to me that industrials were good at hoarding data but don’t know how to extract value from their own data as they didn’t know how to access and make use of the large volume and velocity of the data. If they wanted to touch their data and make use of it, they had to bring in outside consultants for it. I went to solve that problem. Hence Canvass was born.

What is Canvass Analytics’ most unique offering in the modern context of the Industrial AI ML and Automation market?

Adoption of AI in manufacturing has stalled because tools have typically been designed for developers and data scientists, leaving the domain experts on the sidelines. At Canvass, we’re addressing this challenge by making AI accessible and easy for industrial engineers to participate in each part of the AI journey. From a single interface, Canvass empowers industrial engineers to gather and curate data, build and train models, and deploy and scale AI solutions across their operations. Industrial engineers have unparalleled knowledge about their operational problems within their organizations and bringing AI within their reach empowers the entire workforce to amplify their impact and advance their digital maturity.

Please tell us about your recent funding and how you plan to extend the benefits to your employees, partners and customers?

The funding will be used to build up our team so that we can aggressively expand Canvass’s go-to-market efforts, accelerate product development, and support the company’s growing customer base of large global enterprises in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific markets.

What is the future of Industrial AI tools, and how it would help enterprises better prepare for tech-driven disruptions?

An analogy I like to make of the future of Industrial AI tools is by comparing it to the advancement of how we drive cars – using manual gear shift, cruise control, and, to the ultimate of AI in motion, autonomous/self-driving cars.

There will always be elements where AI with human supervision will be necessary – i.e. for safety reasons – and there will be places where automation will really fly. When we get the trifecta of AI at its best will be when organizations have the data, AI tools and digital workforce to bring the full potential of AI to their operations floor.

How did you cope with the COVID-19 crisis? How can customers better leverage Industrial AI tools to meet these kinds of challenges that come with lockdowns and labor shortfalls?

Canvass conducted a survey in May of more than 100 manufacturers, which found that 50% were not permitted to manage their operations remotely, per government regulations. However, they did have to reduce their physical capacity on their operations floor.

For these manufacturers, this created the number one challenge to managing their business sustainability during the first outbreak of COVID-19.

Where AI can help is to bring predictability into the operations floor. By leverage AI tools to help predict the future state of operations, plant managers can make the operational adjustments to either counter a degradation in performance or optimize assets to their fullest potential. For example, AI can be used to predict defects and therefore reducing the amount of manual visual inspections required, which you can imagine would be extremely helpful when there is a reduced workforce on a plant floor.

Tell us more about your remote workplace management style. Which tools and platforms are you currently using to do business remotely?

As we moved to work-from-home, we immediately looked to see how we could maintain our team’s engagement. In addition to the usual team collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, different members of the team organized virtual social events, such as our weekly quiz and virtual coffee meetups. While I don’t miss commuting in the Toronto traffic, we are all eager to get back into the office when the time is right.

Hear it from the pro: What is the Top AI trend you are excited about and why?

The most exciting AI trend we are seeing right now is the real-world application of AI for sustainability. Our customers are now using AI to drive their sustainability ambitions by helping them to reduce waste. For example, it’s estimated that food manufacturers lose between 16-36% of their raw materials during manufacturing. AI can help them improve the precision of their operations so that it’s not just raw materials they are saving from the landfill, it’s also the amount of water or energy they consume. All of this contributes to the industrial sector’s goal to decarbonize its operations and create a more sustainable future for us all.

Thank you, Humera! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

Humera Malik is CEO of Canvass Analytics, a AI software provider that empowers the world’s largest industrial companies with actionable intelligence to make data-driven operational decisions. Internationally, Ms Malik is one of the leading voices in Artificial Intelligence and how it can help the industrial sector to propel growth, accelerate innovation and augment human expertise.

Ms Malik is a recipient of the RBC Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Women of IoT/M2M award and was most recently named in the list of Top 10 Hot AI IoT Startups to Watch. She is frequently invited to speak at industry conferences and has been featured in publications such as Bloomberg and Forbes.


Canvass AI is a leading provider of AI industrial software. Its patent-pending technology enables intelligent industrial operations by putting AI directly in the hands of plant operators, empowering them with data-driven insights to improve production processes and optimize assets. Developed specifically for the industrial sector, large global manufacturing and oil and gas enterprises – including many Fortune 500 companies – use Canvass AI to optimize production processes, generate new revenue streams, and reduce energy and operating costs. Canvass investors include Yamaha Motor Ventures and Alphabet’s Gradient Ventures.

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