If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
IBM is using its AI-based health prediction skills to help tackle the challenge of Huntington's disease. The tech firm has teamed up with CHDI Foundation on an artificial intelligence model that can predict when patients will experience Huntington's symptoms and, crucially, determine how rapidly those symptoms will progress. The team used MRI brain scans to train the AI, using signals from white matter (relatively untapped in brain studies) to help the system gauge how cognitive and motor performance will change over time. The existing understanding of the disease only indicates that symptoms tend to materialize between the ages of 30 and 50, not which symptoms and how they'll evolve. The researchers are "optimistic" that a single MRI scan could produce more accurate estimates of functional decline across multiple categories.
Researchers at McGill University showed that analysis of blood samples using artificial intelligence (AI) could predict and provide a more comprehensive explanation for the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. The findings were published in the journal Brain. The results were gathered from analyzing the blood-brain samples of over 1,900 patients with the presence of late-onset Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Researchers used a novel gene expression contrastive trajectory inference (GE-cTI) method able to unveil enriched temporal patterns, while also predicting neuropathological severity among affected participants. Spanning decades, the machine learning algorithm identified how the patients' genes expressed themselves uniquely, a first study of which revealed how molecular changes underlies neurodegeneration.
Tencent (a Chinese technology company) and Medicaid (a medical firm established in the U.K.) formed a partnership to create AI when monitoring patients with Parkinson's disease. They collaborated in developing an app that produces a video test for find hand movements. The app uses the device's camera to record the patient opening and closing their hands. The recording is then turned into a graph which is then sent to a medical professional for examination. Currently, the app takes 30 minutes to send results however Tencent and Medopad are working to decrease the hold-up time to 3 minutes.
While there obviously shouldn't be an outcry for robots to take the jobs of human physicians, that doesn't mean artificial intelligence can't play an important role when it comes to helping doctors carry out certain aspects of their jobs -- such as recognizing early symptoms of serious diseases that can go unnoticed. A delay in diagnosis can make it more difficult to implement effective treatments or even find cures. This is something that IBM wants to help with, courtesy of a new probabilistic A.I. model that can be used to better understand patients' individual conditions and, crucially, how they are likely to develop. It can give information about a wide range of symptoms -- from shaking hands to mood swings -- and then use this data to help identify the biomarkers of diseases including diabetes, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and more. The A.I. can help doctors understand more about the progression of these neurological disorders, as well as pinpoint how advanced they are.
What if there's a drug that already exists that could treat a disease with no known therapies, but we just haven't made the connection? Finding that connection by exhaustively analyzing complex biomechanics within the body -- with the help of machine learning, naturally -- is the goal of ReviveMed, a new biotech startup out of MIT that just raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Around the turn of the century, genomics was the big thing. Then, as the power to investigate complex biological processes improved, proteomics became the next frontier. We may have moved on again, this time to the yet more complex field of metabolomics, which is where ReviveMed comes in.
Sheep have been notoriously associated with the "herd mentality" insult. But a major study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, has now debunked the stupidity that we have come to associate with sheep. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have trained sheep to identify the pictures of celebrities including Emma Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal, journalist Fiona Bruce and Barack Obama. The team was astonished to find that the animals are able to recognize familiar faces from just 2-D images. When the sheep were asked to choose between a familiar face and an unfamiliar face, the sheep picked the face of the familiar celebrity a majority of the time.
Latanya Sweeney attracts a lot of attention. It could be because of her deep affection for esoteric and cunning mathematics. Or maybe it is the black leather outfit she wears while riding her Honda VTX 1300 motorcycle around the sedate campus of Carnegie Mellon University, where she directs the Laboratory for International Data Privacy. Whatever the case, Sweeney suspects the attention helps to explain her fascination with protecting people's privacy. Because at the heart of her work lies a nagging question: Is it possible to maintain privacy, freedom and safety in today's security-centric, databased world where identities sit ripe for the plucking?
Understanding the brain is one of the grandest challenges we have in science. By understanding the brain, we will understand how the brain creates our cognitive processes, how these processes are implemented in brain tissues, and how the brain differs from other systems we see and build. I'm a neuroscientist and have worked at modelling the brain for the past 15 years at IBM Research. I am named as an inventor on more than 80 patents. Two of my patents that issued in 2016 were: Patent # 9,504,386, "Controlling Devices Based on Physiological Measurements" and Patent # 9,384,661, "Cognitive Needs-Based Trip Planning."
Israeli pharmaceutical firm Teva is partnering with US chipmaker Intel to develop wearables and a machine-learning platform that can be used in the treatment of Huntington's Disease. Huntington's is a genetic and typically fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes nerve cells in the brain to deteriorate. This leads to a host of behavioral and psychological problems, including involuntary writhing movements called chorea. There is no cure for Huntington's, but Teva and Intel hope to spur the development of next-generation treatment options by better understanding the progression of the disease and how current treatments impact a patients' quality of life. The companies plan to accomplish this by combining Intel's capabilities in analytics and algorithms with Teva's work around Huntington's treatment and research.
Here are the stories of 2016 about the future of medicine and healthcare you liked the most so far. At Vanderbilt University, scientists are building an artificial kidney that they envision will one day will be a standard of care over dialysis. The end result is expected to be a microchip about the size of a natural kidney, small enough to be implantable and powered by the body's own blood flow. A Dutch clinic had their first paralyzed patient walk home in an exoskeleton. The heart-warming event followed an 8 weeks-long training program designed by the clinic, during which the patient has trained with the ReWalk 6.0 exoskeleton to regain their movement.