IceLab and the Medical Faculty Launch AI Hackathon

Turning the hype of machine learning-powered precision medicine into actual science calls for collaboration between life-science researchers and data scientists. Therefore, an AI Hackaton pitch event will be organized at Umeå University on 12 October.

The Faculty of Medicine and the Integrated Science Lab, IceLab, organize the event together.

”Clinicians critically need skilled partners to apply advanced AI methods to barrages of health care data for more effective treatments. With the AI Hackathon, we hope to help create those partnerships,” says Jenny Persson, Professor at Department of Molecular Biology and Chairman of the Faculty of Medicine’s Council for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, MAI.

”The AI Hackathon Pitch Event will help interested life-science researchers with high-quality data and critical questions overcome departmental boundaries and find data scientists with complementing expertise in causal inference. In turn, those AI and data scientists will access new, exciting data challenges and the opportunity to have their research impact people’s lives,” says Martin Rosvall, Professor at the Department of Physics and director of IceLab.

Opens new opportunities

For researchers in AI and machine learning who participate in the event, new opportunities open up through access to new, exciting data and important research questions with a decisive impact on people’s lives.

Those researchers who want can deliver 5-minute pitches outlining problems, data, needs and skills in two pitch sessions followed by breakout discussions. One session will feature life-science researchers with data and research questions without the methodological expertise to address those questions. The second pitch session will feature AI researchers with data science expertise and novel methods ready to attack urgent data-intensive research questions. Discussion rooms in separate online areas will encourage collaborative sparks between the pitchers and the event participants.

The importance of interdisciplinarity in AI

To close on an inspirational note, Melanie Mitchell, Davis Professor of Complexity at the Santa Fe Institute  and Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and author of the acclaimed book: Artificial Intelligence: A Guide For Thinking Humans, will deliver a keynote with lessons on AI research in interdisciplinary settings entitled “Why AI needs a science of intelligence”.

“The hackathon does not end here, however, as selected interdisciplinary teams emerging from the pitch event will be invited to turn the spark of an idea into a feasible project plan at a retreat November 27-29 at Granö Beckasin in Vindeln. You will take a break from your every-day science and enter into a guided distraction-free focus mode with your new team and explore new terrain.  When you leave Granö you will have new collaborators and a proposal outline that takes your research in a new direction,” says Gabrielle Beans, IceLab coordinator.

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