AI in Healthcare I


I live in Berlin, which is fast becoming the tech hub of Europe. Over the past two years we have seen a massive up-tick in the number of healthcare oriented startups, which are receiving funding on the basis of their use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). As somebody who knows a bit about the underlying technical and application problems of AI, what I see has made me very uneasy.

As a result of some personal conversations I was invited to give a Keynote address to the Digital Health Forum of the Berlin Institute of Health in March. This is a big deal because the BIH is a joint venture between Europe’s biggest teaching hospital, Charité Berlin, and one of Germany’s foremost centres for biological research, the Max-Delbrueck-Center, Berlin. The talk was extremely well received, so I have now given a public version at PyData Berlin 2018 which will be published on their YouTube channel in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I have written the discussion up as an article in two parts: part I is below and part II will appear next week. Continue reading “AI in Healthcare I”

Influences: Steve Grand

One of my favourite games from my childhood was Creatures. I still remember buying it in a large cardboard box and finding the small 3.5″ floppy disk which nestled inside. This was my first experience of two new technologies: virtual worlds and alife.

The game featured little furry creatures (they reminded me of Ewoks, from Star Wars) called Norns. These creatures hatch from eggs. The installation disk, as far as I recall, hosts the simulation environment and the encoding for your first Norn egg. The basic idea was that your Norn would hatch and was supposed to have certain behavioural traits which would make it unique compared to those of your friends. The baby Norn would then wander around the virtual world (a side-on platform type world, with very rich background graphics) and try to interact with a number of the items littering the environment. Continue reading “Influences: Steve Grand”

PyData Berlin 2018

PyData Berlin 2018 will be taking place this weekend. I will be in attendance and, on Saturday, will present a talk on AI in Healthcare.

The abstract I submitted is woefully inadequate. Luckily, I was able to write a more coherent description in the message to the organisers and they were gracious enough to accept me.

I will be talking about my main hobby-topic: why you can’t just throw the current black-box methods at biological problems and expect it to work out.

The talk is the same as one I gave as a keynote in private session at the Digital Health Forum of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), in March. The feedback from the BIH was so positive that I wanted to open this topic up to a wider audience (this version will also have a video posted online).

I will write up the talk as an article and post it here in a week or so.