Why did you join Omdena?

To make a difference on a global scale, I joined Omdena in 2021 and benefited from knowledge acquisition and good networking. from working with 50 collaborators on global challenges to local branch projects, in the role of lead machine learning engineer and as branch manager in Sri Lanka, I contributed to helping people succeed in their dreams.

During this trip I met many friends all over the world. The extras I received from Omdena during the engagement supported me on my journey which was so far…

“Omdena has really helped take Sri Lanka’s AI community to another level. It really makes sense!!!”

Vidura Wijekoon

What is your experience as a chapter leader? How long have you been in this position?

“Leading a technical community for a great cause has been a life-changing moment for me over the past 14 months.”

This chance allowed me to help many people from my side. Being appointed as one of the branch managers in Sri Lanka really helped me learn a lot and teach people. Two major chapter challenges have been successfully conducted throughout the Sri Lankan chapter, and the third national project is currently underway: Implementing an AI-based chatbot to support general mental hygiene. Plus lots of technical webinars and mentoring sessions for Omdena School and AI refreshers have been held so far.

Getting through the tail end of an AI related project is so much fun and motivates me to work harder on the most interesting part of it. I also like to share my knowledge with team members. As a contributor to the Omdena community, I participated in local challenges from other countries. I also participated in Omdena AI Challenges as a junior and lead machine learning engineer.

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Why is the Omdena experience different from others?

I have a lot of experience from participating in projects in schools, universities and companies throughout my career. Mostly, about 90% of the projects, I usually work with the local community. Almost two years of experience with Omdena helped me engage with the foreign AI community and do projects with them.

“It was actually a great experience that allowed me to understand a lot of new things in the field of AI and the way the world is going. It helps me look at AI from different perspectives.”

What’s the best experience you’ve ever had?

The best experience I have had in my career with Omdena is that I was able to be part of two projects that interest me the most. They are the following two projects, firstly, Building a recommendation engine for energy sustainability organized by Omdena and Retrolux, and secondly Project to build a renewable energy map host of Head of Omdena in Tunisia. These projects actually tested my knowledge of artificial intelligence plus knowledge of power and energy sector.

What was the most shocking experience or surprising moment you discovered while hosting?

Mostly the happiest thing I have experienced in my career is that some of the freshers who have been mentored by me have managed to get good internships or jobs in reputed companies in both AI and energy sector.

What is the local impact of Omdena Sri Lanka’s local affiliate?

Local impact is very promising and effective in Sri Lanka from Chapter Omdena Sri Lanka is able to awaken and push many beginners to the field of AI. When challenges or webinars happen, students from universities and schools, experts in artificial intelligence, as well as people from other sectors participate.

What is the situation in Sri Lanka? How can we help?

Sri Lanka is currently facing an economic crisis along with political instability. Because of the peaceful protests taking place in Sri Lanka, we all wish for good things to happen in our future. As Sri Lankans, we are trying to create a system that relies on regulations and policies rather than people. So, also from my side, I try to give my full support to the education sector by learning and teaching others. In this way we think we can achieve a good stable future in Sri Lanka soon.

Vidura Wijekoon

Vidura Wijekoon

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The post Addressing Sri Lanka’s crisis with artificial intelligence – by Omdena Chapter Head Vidura Wijekoon appeared first on Omdena | Building AI solutions to real-world problems.


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