Every year, the National Institutes of Health spends billions of dollars for biomedical research, ranging from basic science investigations into cell processes to clinical trials. The results are published in journals, presented in academic meetings, and then — building off of their findings — researchers move on to their next project. But what happens to the data that’s collected and what more could we learn from it? If we aggregated all the data from countless years of research, might we learn something new about ourselves, the diseases that infect us, and possible treatments? That’s the hope behind the Biomedical Data Translator program, launched by the NIH in 2016: to create a “Google” for biomedical data that could sift through hundreds of separate data sources to help researchers connect “dots” in datasets with distinct formats and peculiarities. “There is a lot of information that is currently available, through … [Read more...] about NIH-funded project aims to build a ‘Google’ for biomedical data
A large auto manufacturer asked a consulting firm to evaluate its competitive position in relation to ride-sharing startups building autonomous vehicles. Instead of viewing this as a classic strategy project, with a business case, PowerPoint decks, and five-year projections, the firm created a “game” that the automaker could “play” against its competitors. An artificial intelligence (AI) system modeled the voluminous individual choices available to customers, companies, and other entities as digital twins (a digital twin is a computerized replica of a physical asset, process, consumer, actor, or other decision-making entity). The hundreds of thousands of simulations suggested many strategic bets, option-value bets, and “no-regret strategies,” or moves that made strategic and financial sense in a multitude of situations. The selection of those strategies, in turn, made the AI system smarter through learning mechanisms called reinforcement learning, … [Read more...] about How to build disruptive strategic flywheels
BOSTON — Artificial intelligence is often hailed as a great catalyst of medical innovation, a way to find cures to diseases that have confounded doctors and make health care more efficient, personalized, and accessible. But what if it turns out to be poison? Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard Law School professor, posed that question during a conference in Boston Tuesday that examined the use of AI to accelerate the delivery of precision medicine to the masses. He used an alarming metaphor to explain his concerns: “I think of machine learning kind of as asbestos,” he said. “It turns out that it’s all over the place, even though at no point did you explicitly install it, and it has possibly some latent bad effects that you might regret later, after it’s already too hard to get it all out.” In health care, Zittrain said, AI is particularly problematic because of how easily it can be duped into reaching false conclusions. As an example, he showed an … [Read more...] about What if AI in health care is the next asbestos?
As a young entrepreneur, Nina Vaca was never one to turn down a rubber-chicken dinner — as long as it was for a good cause. The founder, chair, and CEO of the Dallas-based workforce solutions provider Pinnacle Group used to finagle as many invitations as she could to listen to keynote speeches by the best business and leadership minds. One particular luncheon in 2001, however, stands out. An elegantly coiffed Latina woman, dressed impeccably in a black St. John suit, walked up to the podium. She was Rosario Marin, the United States treasurer appointed by the George W. Bush administration. It was the first time Vaca had seen someone who looked like her in a position of such influence. “She made me feel empowered; she made me feel like I could do it,” recalls Vaca, who was born in Ecuador somewhat unexpectedly when her mother had returned to visit family. (Vaca was raised in Los Angeles.) “All of a sudden I had this fire in my belly.” It was an epiphany … [Read more...] about Diversifying the high-tech talent pool
It happens almost every day: A CEO scans the competitive landscape, and decides it’s time to implement new strategies or to examine internal factors that are limiting growth. With buy-in from senior leadership, the company makes a significant investment in a months-long process designed to yield actionable insights. A few areas may be singled out for a deep-dive examination of how work is performed and where pain points exist. After interviewing employees at various levels, creating detailed documentation, and making recommendations, the company is ready to pilot changes, measure results, and roll out strategies to larger groups of stakeholders. Related stories s+b Blogs by Jaime Estupiñán, Gary L. Neilson by DeAnne Aguirre, Varya Davidson, Carolin Oelschlegel s+b Blogs This approach to organizational effectiveness continues to be embraced by companies in nearly every industry. It’s reliable, repeatable, and results oriented — but also not without … [Read more...] about Organizational effectiveness goes digital