Interview

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How do you define AI?

I like to refer to AI as Augmented Intelligence rather than Artificial Intelligence — it is the augmentation of human intelligence leveraging recent tech advances in silicon, micro/nano-electronics and data science. 

What progress AI will bring to humanity in your own specific sector or field?

AI will revolutionize healthcare in 3 ways.

1) for doctors
AI will allow to learn, consolidate and synthesize the massive amount of data available in literature, clinical cases and hospital records. It is today impossible for a doctor to know everything about a specific case […] —e.g. what treatments have worked previously and under similar circumstances. With Augmented Intelligence, the doctors now has an assistant that can process all data available and come back to her with a couple of treatment suggestions.

2) for individuals
AI will enable ultimate personalization of treatments. Again, learning from the data available out there, mapping my case to “people like me”, and recommending lifestyle choices, behaviors, diet, exercise and medication that may be ideal for my situation.

3) for clinical research
AI offers a new opportunity to mine existing and upcoming database for the discovery of new markers of health and health complications. That is the part of AI that we’re exploiting currently at Bloomlife, and we’ve shown that it works! 

Among our AI ethical criteria, which one is the most important to you?

Difficult to pick one as they’re all important! I’d go with the first one: human responsibility. As we push the boundaries of AI and robotics, we (= human race) need to remain continuously aware of the possible derivations, and take responsibility for our innovations. I think most of the other criteria will be automatically met if we design AI and robots responsibly, and in-line with human and societal ethics. 

What is your favorite sci-fi or literature quote forecasting what’s ahead?

I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I do like a couple of quotes from Rainbow Ends by Vernor Vinge.
Here is one for instance: "Well, there's silent messaging. The bitrate is so low, it works when nothing else does.", "Yes! I've read about sming. It's like the old instant messaging, except no one can see you're communicating.”
We’re continuously messaging in today’s world; and we’re creating a virtual world of communication on top of the physical world of communication. “Silent messaging” puts this to an extreme. 

What daily life global or personal problem do you expect AI to solve 10 years from now?

Improve healthcare for everyone by enabling a data driven evidence based approach to medicine.

Julien Penders is a member of The Robot Of The Year Jury.
Co-founder and COO of
Bloomlife. Entrepreneur in digital health.