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If I were a venture capitalist and someone wanted me to invest in AI technology, I would … December 8, 2016

Posted by Rani Sebastian in AI Present and Future.

We are surrounded by AI and news of and about AI.  We got a chance to read about the history, latest developments, proposed theories, hypes, hopes and fears of AI and reflected on a variety of topics ranging from classifications to ethics to naturalness and to cyborg behaviors. We even collectively defined AI as “Artificial Intelligence is the non-cognizant simulation of human intelligence through the use of programming based algorithms, created to assist humans in decision making in specific categories by analyzing and learning from past and present data in order to form solutions and/or complex predictions regarding future events without forming personal motivations”. [1]

Reviewing all that I have seen, heard, read and thought of AI in these last few months, if I were a venture capitalist, I will invest in AI in Healthcare.
This will include personalized medical care infrastructures, cognitive assistants, AI prosthetics, exoskeletons, related wearables and Internet of Things devices.

AI has immense potential to revolutionize our medical care and our lives.  With AI to assist we can address prime issues -clinical decision support, patient monitoring and coaching, automated devices to assist in surgery or patient care, and management of healthcare systems to name a few. [2] The list goes on quite long. In short, profound impact everywhere.  I visualize AI to be an augmented intelligence rather than assisted intelligence where humans and AI work collaboratively hand in hand to solve prime issues. In a study published by World Economic Forum for top 10 emerging technologies of 2016 – at least 3 were directly linked to healthcare. The study states – “several pieces of emerging technology have linked together in ways that make it easier to build far more powerful, human-like digital assistants—that is, into an open AI ecosystem. This ecosystem connects not only to our mobile devices and computers—and through them to our messages, contacts, finances, calendars and work files—but also to the thermostat in the bedroom, the scale in the bathroom, the bracelet on the wrist, even the car in the driveway”. We are very close to having this “open –AI – ecosystem” [3].

AI in health care does come with its share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is data mining and machine learning. Data is crucial when dealing with the variability of human anatomy and genes. The data set for machine learning needs to be vast.  A machine can recognize the image of a cat or a dog easily because there are many labeled pictures of it already available. Consider brain mapping or MRI scans – even experts find them intimidating. So machine learning for these must scale up quickly. [4] There are ethical and legal issues too. But more than these, there is also the risk that all talk and fear of AI taking over humanity may result in slowing down acceptance.

I believe the collaboration of human and artificial intelligence will be the next major revolution.  At this point, we also have Kernel leading the way – Kernel is a new venture from entrepreneur Bryan Johnson started in 2016 to build the world’s first neural prosthetic for human intelligence enhancement. Kernel had been in news before too, but recently for the funding of $100 million to fund their mission.  As per Johnson –Why now? Because the sooner we begin co-evolving human and machine intelligence, the better. The relationship between human intelligence and artificial intelligence (HI + AI)will necessary be one of symbiosis”[5][6]
In this investment, I feel the odds are in my favor.


[1]Unpublished communication

[2] http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/stanford-posts-100-year-study-artificial-intelligence

[3] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/top-10-emerging-technologies-2016,

[4] http://phys.org/news/2016-12-artificial-intelligence-revolutionised-healthcare.html

[5] http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2016/11/30/artificial-intelligence-vs-human-intelligence/
[6] http://kernel.co/



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