Inspiration from MIT Emtech in Singapore
Reporting from Southeast Asia, Fiona and I agree that the MIT Emtech Asia conference was eye-popping and fascinating. This is directly related to Healid, but also far beyond.
MIT Emtech Asia: Day 1
In the biotech section we discovered a number of advanced and overlapping developments, providing helpful insights into solutions with comparable and in some ways complementary challenges. A MIT-led ‘Human Epitranscriptome Project’ is taking genomics to the “next level.” By identifying correlations and causations of genes and phenotypes for specific diseases and conditions, it actually shows how practical solutions would and will be developed using a database like ours.
A project about gene sequencing of soil samples helps with increasing crop health and yields for farmers anywhere, with processes quite similar to ours (sample collection, sequencing, bio-analytical analyses).
And in India the real-time feedback for ECG-evaluations also involves large scaling out using modern computing resources and advanced AI, in the spirit of precision-medicine
Again another talk described the complexities of analyzing the “good food – bad food” questions, which are personal and not general in nature and do therefore require powerful AI-based analytics. This is complemented by dramatic new technology developments in the area of quantum computing, arguably key to make massive AI-based data analysis reality.
The sessions were complemented by fascinating conversations and connections built (and of course debates about crypto-technologies!), covering diverse but forward-thinking people, from investors, scientists, business – to the soon-to-be-extinct class of programmers…
You can also find pictures on our social media accounts.
However, the arguably biggest take-away so far for me is that we need to speed up. In most areas Silicon Valley seems to be moving slowly compared to China, and the current dramatic changes in technology will never happen as comfortably as they are right now. Everything is going exponential and to really be part of this and shape our world we better move more aggressively than we already have.
Emtech Asia: Day 2
Day Two of the Emtech Conference in Singapore with some learnings for Healid. A presentation by Shuang Wu of YITU Tech pointed out the ability of face recognition to evaluate 1 billion faces in under one second. This gives some idea about the possibilities for us to analyze large data records – if they are stored appropriately.
The subsequent talk by Orial Vinyals from Google Deepmind focused mostly on feedback loops and self-learning algorithms. Indirectly, though, looking at the learning curve of high iterations in gaming, I wonder whether similar principles should be baked into our “mining” processes. It basically would put the AI in the front of the line, and run the analytical algorithm upfront when uploading and storing the data, instead of after the fact.
Again some inspiration from a presentation about a solution called Saildrone, which is a 100% solar propelled drone that sails the oceans and measures and maps with a large number of sensors. The aspect that is interesting is their business model: they don’t sell this really cool-looking drone, but the access to the data (in their case at $2,500/day per drone). Data access pricing… hmm. Makes sense to keep this possible for our algorithm.
Then it got totally crazy, and I don’t even want to go into the inspirations gained from the next presentations… space travel, small sats, revolutionizing air travel – and finally: SpaceX and a detailed outline of the BFR and the Mars project. Believe it or not, but I can see some direct impact on Healid!
Once we left Singapore we met with several Innovation Centers in Manila. On Tuesday I will have a Blockchain meet up with QBO in Makati. Upwards of 50 people are expected to attend for the first meet up of that kind in Manila. But first we will tomorrow catch up with our lead developer Dominic and his family, while doing some sightseeing at a Filipino vulcano.