Sunday, April 21, 2024

What made one of world’s most ‘brilliant’ AI scientists smother her child to death


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Bengaluru, Jan 13:  The heart-wrenching visuals of a four-year-old boy’s body being carried by his father are still vivid in people’s minds. What people couldn’t comprehend is the fact that the boy was killed by his CEO mother. Above this, the motive behind this inhumane act stumped people.

The investigation into this sensational case has so far revealed that the accused, 39-year-old Suchana Seth, CEO of a Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence start-up company, had been planning the crime for a long time.

She didn’t want her son to see his father, her divorced husband, at all.

Police sources also explained that Suchana allegedly started hating her son because his face resembled his father, constantly reminding her of him.

The police have come to the conclusion that it was a premeditated act, and the killer mother had administered cough syrup so that the child wouldn’t resist while she smothered him to death.

The development has caused concern in society and raised many questions about a mother turning into the killer of her own baby.

Suchana was at the peak of her career before being stumped by her own act.

She was an AI ethics expert and data scientist with over 12 years of experience in mentoring data science teams and scaling machine learning solutions at startups and industry research labs.

Suchana was on the ‘100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics List 2021’ and had been a Mozilla Fellow at Data and Society, a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard University, and a research fellow at the Raman Research Institute.

She also holds patents in natural language processing.

“I am excited and deeply honoured to be part of this incredible group of women doing critically important work in AI Ethics!” Suchana proudly wrote on her profile after the feat.

Congratulatory messages flooded her post on social media for her success. However, as soon as the case came up, everything changed.

“Shame on you, disgusting lady,” said one of the comments.

“She was a big achiever, and how does she have a criminal mind to kill her own child!!! I am stumped,” says another.

“Criminal mind? She is a murderer. What you wrote sounds so casual; she literally strangled her own child with a pillow. She had no empathy while she killed that child, and imagine how that child must’ve felt being betrayed by someone he could only trust,” stated yet another comment.

Some comments maintained:

“If she is not happy with her husband, then why did she have to kill her own son? It’s unimaginable, and it requires thorough investigation. Even higher education can’t make you a good human being; it’s proven.”

“A mind of genius converted into a mind of criminality.”

“She isn’t a genius; she is a complete fool.”

“Even animals have a sense of protection towards their babies.”

The investigation has revealed more shocking details.

When the suitcase containing the child’s body was opened, Suchana did not give any expression or reaction. She had covered the dead body with clothes.

She had also finalised the taxi for Bengaluru from Goa for Rs 30,000 and started in haste. There was a traffic jam for four hours because of an accident in Chorla Ghat in Belagavi. If not for the jam, the accused would have reached Bengaluru.

The probe has also revealed that the accused had bookings from January 6 to 10. However, she killed her son on January 8 and checked out at 12.30 a.m.

Now, the police are suspecting that after reaching Bengaluru, the accused was planning to shift the suitcase into her vehicle and dispose of the body. But her plans failed, and she was arrested.

Suchana had claimed that she attempted to render her son unconscious to stop him from talking to his father over a video call by pressing the pillow on his face, and the child was suffocated to death.

She later claimed that she attempted to commit suicide by slashing her hands but failed. Not knowing what to do in the situation, she stuffed the body into a suitcase and checked out of the hotel.

Suchana had confessed that she did not want her son to talk to his father at all.

Preliminary investigations had revealed that she committed the crime to deny her former husband access to the child after a court granted him visitation rights.

Venkataramana worked in a reputed company in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Goa Police, in coordination with their Karnataka counterparts, arrested Seth for allegedly murdering her four-year-old son at a service apartment in Goa.

The incident came to light after the housekeeping staff found bloodstains in the room she had stayed in.

After checking out, the accused had come out with a big suitcase to head for Bengaluru.

As she was boarding the taxi, the hotel staff who had seen her son inquired about the child.

The accused informed the staff that he had been sent to her relative’s place and left the hotel.

After getting the information from the hotel, the Goa Police got the contact number of the taxi driver and asked him to stop as soon as he spotted a police station on the National Highway.

Accordingly, the taxi driver stopped the vehicle near Imangala Police Station.

The Goa Police briefed their Karnataka counterparts about the development.

The police found the body of the child in the trunk of the car inside the suitcase.

Many commenting on the profile of Suchana raised the need for women and men to be counselled for parenting before becoming parents, emphasising the importance of thoughtful consideration before pregnancy.

“If you have other things on your priority list, don’t get pregnant,” one of the comments observed.



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