Entretien avec Darlington Akogo, l’expert en IA/Interview with Darlington Akogo, the expert in AI


De l'envoyée spéciale de NHM : Alice Kanterian

1. Please introduce your company, you have many hats on! And how are you related to the University of Oxford? MinoHealth AI Labs specializes in the development of artificial intelligence for health solutions towards the democratization of quality healthcare around the world, especially in Africa. As part of this, our minohealth.ai platform automates the diagnosis of several medical conditions via medical imaging (radiology). Some of the conditions include pneumonia, hernia, breast cancer, tuberculosis and fibrosis. We work with several partners around the world to embark on our various AI for health projects. One initiative we had was with the University of Oxford. This initiative was called The Digital Health & AI Global Health Strategy Group and it involved the University of Oxford, MinoHealth AI Labs and 12 other partners including Financial Times, Charite, Robert Koch Institute, OUCRU, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Aga Khan University among others. As part of this initiative, we identified limitations, gaps, and challenges in global health, digital health and AI, and utilized collaborations and expertise within the strategy group towards addressing them. 2. You are a strong believer in AI, what are the next steps in your company and how can you assure significant growth and a much stronger global influence? Minohealth is currently completing a clinical study for our AI4radiology platform. We strongly believe that regardless of someone's financial background, they deserve the right to quality healthcare, so we are working with various stakeholders globally to provide access to quality healthcare via our AI powered solutions. We are currently establishing partnerships towards scaling our AI solutions to low resource countries. We are also putting together an advisory board with global experience to help us achieve this. Our 3-year target is to provide 100 million AI powered solutions globally. 3. We met at the WAICF 14-16.04 in Cannes and you were part of the panel on AI in the health care system, who were your co-panelists and do you share the same AI goals? At the conference, my co-panelists were Kam Chana, Director of the Scientific Data and Computing Platforms at Merck; Manoj Ramachandran, Co-founder / Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon/Professor at VIZ.AI/ Royal London Hospital; Philippe Moingeon, Head of Immuno-inflammation at Servier and Mohamed-Ramzi Temanni, Scientific Director, Head of France AI/Genomics at Janssen R&D.It seems we all share the belief that AI can and is shaping healthcare, however, we all have different interest areas in healthcare that we believe has the most potential and we all have different geographical focus.

. 4. You are a global player, so tell me are other parts of the world much more advanced in the AI application as part of daily lives compared to Europe? Yes, AI is already used today through ride sharing apps (Uber and Bolt), digital maps (Google Maps), social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and content streaming platfoms (YouTube and Tiktok), all these are used around the world today. Beyond that, different places around the world are also adopting AI in specific sectors like healthcare, finance and agriculture. In Africa for example, we are seeing AI adoption in some sectors.

5. We met at the WAICF 14-16.04 in Cannes. In other words, why did you attend the trade show?

It was really nice meeting you, I really enjoyed our conversations. Attending the WAICF was a great opportunity to meet other great global stakeholders in AI and data science. Through conversations from the conference, I met potential investors, partners and advisors. Also, it was nice to see Cannes, LOL.

6. Which presentations/panels did you attend and what news did you hear at the WAICF, that might even surprised you?

There was a presentation by my good friend Lisa Thee which talked about using AI to combat child trafficking and ensure child online safety. Hearing details about the state of child trafficking was alarming and I was impressed with how AI is used in the real world to protect children.

7. How will AI affect our lives in future? And is there a threat to expect if we don't have our hands on the technology we created?

AI will change most industries. More and more tasks will be automated, and this has the potential to create a utopia or a dystopia. In the utopian scenario, AI can create abundance, solve our grand challenges and ensure everyone has access to quality life. In the dystopian scenario, AI could exacerbate inequality. It could also be abused towards the creation of autonomous weapons that would lead to even more carnage. Whether we have a utopian scenario or dystopian scenario depends on our actions today. That is why there is a need for more robust global AI standards, regulations and ethics.

8. Elon Musks describes Brain-Machine-Interfaces as "the only way" that we have ANY HOPE of dealing with climate change and AI dominance. What does he mean? Your comment on this!

Brain-Machine-Interfaces are technologies that have been worked on for decades way before Elon Musk’s neuralink. They have a lot of potential for addressing neurological conditions and also boosting human capabilities; however, they are not a legitimate response to any potential AI dominance. Most arguments about AI dominance are based on science fiction rather than practical work being done. Assuming some fictional AI was taking over the world, having an AI system embedded in your brain would not stop it, if anything, it would give that AI system control to take over your brain as well.

9. He is worried about what will happen when AI becomes more intelligent than humans and starts to act WITHOUT any input of us. Do you agree with him? I attended several panels but none mentioned AI as a threat so I was wondering how YOU see things?

AI as it exists today and in the future, does not have the sentience or consciousness to act on its own without input. What is more dangerous realistically is AI being abused intentionally or unintentionally. AI systems today exceed human performance in some specific and narrow domains, however, human beings are capable of general intelligence which far supersedes that which AI systems are currently capable of. Building an AI system that outperforms human beings in general intelligence is a different task from building AI systems with consciousness. If we ever build AI systems that have their own values then May God Be With Us, LOL. On a more serious note, it is purely speculative to say, if we ever build self conscious AI systems, which might be decades away, there is no way to say they will be bad or good at this point. If they end up being bad, we would have to defend ourselves against them just as we would if we were attacked by hostile aliens. But again, this is more sci-fi than practical science.

10. Where the big companies, the big AI experts attending the WAICF? And who was missing?

All major players in global tech were present including the top five players in global tech.

11. Is the WAICF going to get established as an important meeting on the AI conference circuit, I mean it's quite trendy and they are not the only ones.

Yes, I think WAICF will be one of the main gatherings in AI and data science because it did a good job of convening the major players within the sector in the renowned city of Cannes as the same venue of the Cannes film festival. 12. Next year WAICF will take place February 9-11, will you attend? BIG YES! I am really looking forward to reconnecting to new friends and discussions towards shaping AI and the data science sector.


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