AI Genomics. Is this the future of health?

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jan 28, 2021 6:12:09 AM

Jo Bhakdi

 

What if within the span of the next decade, we could live for an additional ten years or more? A hundred years ago, advances in infection control and public health led to a near doubling of the human life span. For us to achieve a similar feat today, we will need more than just scientific breakthroughs. Despite the rise of AI, powerful computation platforms and new discoveries in genomics, there is still a gap between everyday medical practice and technological innovation.

 

Jo Bhakdi is the founder and CEO of Quantgene, a biotechnology and data company. In his view, when it comes to medical diagnoses, we are largely reliant on snapshot testing, quick discussions regarding patient symptoms, and the brain power of the practicing physicians.

 

AI-powered genomics, by contrast, allows us to now turn biology into a data problem, moving at the speed of statistical model development and falling computation costs. Genetic testing has the potential to uncover the root cause of disease and reveal its progression in the body - thus redefining the healthcare paradigm.

 

One area where this technology has the potential to impact our life expectancy is early stage cancer detection. Many cancers are treatable if caught early enough. While traditional medicine tends to intervene only when a tumor is advanced enough to warrant investigation, Quantgene has developed he capability to detect multiple types of cancer from a simple blood test. By identifying cellular mutations using artificial intelligence analytics and big data, they can unlock where a cancer is encoding itself into the human genome.

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

 

01:28 The unexpected implications of extreme longevity

04:31 Jo's origin story

06:19 Reimagining cancer detection

15:38 Healthcare is a system of broken incentives

30:20 Digital transformation & Big Pharma

35:29 Delivering innovation at scale

43:35 Privacy, rights and personal data

 

CATEGORY: Healthcare, AI

Algorithms, AI and the alignment problem

Posted by Mike Walsh

Dec 9, 2020 4:08:49 AM

Brian Christian

 

As we become more reliant on AI, algorithms and automation to manage the complexity of our world - we also face the challenge of systems that not aligned with our values or even our intentions. 

 

For Brian Christian, this is not unlike the position of Mickey Mouse in the Disney classic, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, who suddenly finds himself overwhelmed by magic beyond his control. In his words, ‘we conjure a force, autonomous but totally compliant, give it a set of instructions, then scramble like mad to stop it once we realize our instructions are imprecise or incomplete—lest we get, in some clever, horrible way, precisely what we asked for’. 

 

Brian Christian is one of my favorite writers on AI, with a unique perspective that is very much at the intersection of computer science and philosophy. He is the author of the acclaimed bestsellers ‘The Most Human Human’ and ‘Algorithms To Live By’, which have been translated into nineteen languages. A visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, he lives in San Francisco. His latest book, and the subject of this interview, is ‘The Alignment Problem’. 

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

 

02:30 Brian’s origin story

05:01 Convergence: social sciences & tech

08:20 The alignment problem defined

14:12 AI Safety & the black box problem

18:28 Addressing the issue of bias

27:18 Business vs technical questions

37:06 Reinforcement learning

45:40 Challenging the system

52:45 Future skills

 

 

CATEGORY: AI

Disinformation wars, robot uprisings and differential privacy

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 8, 2020 8:15:47 AM

HARPER REED

 

A US election is far more than just a struggle for the most powerful job in the world; it also provides a glimpse into consumer attitudes and emerging technologies designed to influence opinion. It was during the 2012 US election, for instance, that social media, online data and e-commerce profiling was leveraged for the first time to create a hyper-targeted, digital political campaign, that ultimately swept the Democrats into power. My guest this week, Harper Reed, was intimately involved in that strategy, having served as CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, where he was the first to bring the mentality and connective capabilities of the tech industry to the political stage.

 

I’ve known Harper for a number of years now. We met on the technology speaking circuit, and stayed in touch with a common passion for Leica rangefinders and film photography. Harper has a unique perspective - especially on those shadowy areas where disruptive tech intersects with society, culture and economics.

 

Prior to his current (stealth) startup, he worked at PayPal, as Head of Commerce and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. The technology he developed as co-founder at his business Modest Inc. had garnered the attention of PayPal, which led them to acquire Modest only a few years after launch. He was also the CTO of Threadless.com, where he pioneered crowdsourcing and grew the company from a 12 person startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise. Harper is an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, sits on the advisory boards for IIT Computer Science and the Royal United Service Institute, and is on the Cornell College Board of Trustees.

 

 

In this episode you will learn:

 

0:00 Living in the dystopia we deserve

05:58 Lessons from the 2012 election

18:33 The 2020 political tech stack

21:58 The rise of the robots

28:23 Differential privacy

38:26 The ethics of unintended consequences

 

CATEGORY: Technology

How Mastercard uses their innovation lab to co-create with their customers

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 1, 2020 1:58:41 AM

KEN MOORE

 

Despite all the talk about fintech disruption - banking, finance, and payments remain highly regulated industries with well-established competitors who are not standing still - even in this moment of rapid change and digital reinvention. Mastercard is one such company. They created Mastercard Labs as a way of co-creating and innovating with their customers. The idea was to turn external signals into opportunities, and in' doing so, de-risk' them for their clients and for the rest of the organization. So, for example, they are working on quantum computing with IBM. They have established their own proprietary blockchain and several AI projects and were behind the Apple Card's tokenization, which allowed it to work without the standard 16 digits.

 

To learn more about how Mastercard manages their innovation portfolio, I spoke with Ken Moore, who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Mastercard and also Head of Mastercard Labs. Ken is responsible for the company's R&D initiatives globally. Prior to joining Mastercard, he was a Director at Citibank, where he established Citi's first Innovation Lab and subsequently expanded it globally to create a network of collaborative innovation centers across the company.

 

 

In this episode, you will learn:

 

0:00 How the pandemic has changed consumer behavior

3:00 Why Mastercard needed an innovation lab

10:16 The importance of de-risking innovation

13:51 How to use innovation portfolios

21:14 The future customer journey

26:49 Engaging the startup community

29:38 Learning from the Chinese payments ecosystem

33:07 Mastercard’s 7 innovation portfolios

 

CATEGORY: Finance

The future of education

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 24, 2020 5:13:38 AM

Dr Shawn

 

This new age of smart machines will still need humans - but arguably, they will need to be ones who can think, create and make decisions in very different ways than the workforce of today. As with the first Industrial Revolution, reinventing education will be a priority going forward, especially if we are to survive the automation-led shakeup to jobs. To find out what it might take to transform schools and learning, I spoke with Dr. Shawn K. Smith , an education futurist and chief executive officer of Modern Teacher. Shawn also sits on the board of The Futures Institute, an organization dedicated to providing global insights on complex local problems.

 

 

In this episode, you will learn:

  1. The genius of John Dewey [00.22]
  2. The four phases of society and how they impact learning [04.03]
  3. The emerging digital education ecosystem [07.34]
  4. What it takes to be a 21st century educator [14.07]
  5. How AI is changing learning and instructional models [18.36]
  6. Ethics, transparency and algorithmic risk [24.39]
  7. What skills will tomorrow’s kids need to survive the 21st century? [28.31]


 

CATEGORY: Education