Fighting Malaria with AI

Portraits in Digital – Eduardo Peire

We met Eduardo over the summer via Aline Noizet, of course. He is the data science equivalent of McGyver. He’s the kind of guy we’ll be proud to say we knew him when…

What did you work on in 2018?

2018 was a hectic year. I have two jobs as an AI consultant doing projects for health-related companies that I cannot talk about because of an NDA. And I also lead AIScope, an NGO that uses AI to diagnose the deadliest diseases in low and middle-income areas, diseases like Malaria, tuberculosis, or diarrhea-related diseases that kill thousands of people every day.

In 2018, we proved that those diseases could be diagnosed with our super-cheap device without the supervision of doctors nor microscopists. Thus, making diagnostic capabilities available to any professional with a smartphone.

What emerging technologies do you think will advance your work?

Right now, almost everything I work with is an emerging technology, or at least is not a technology older than 1-2 years and not broadly used. So I couldn’t be happier with the level computer vision has achieved, and I’m sure it will be in every single device that has a camera in the next couple of years.

On the other hand, I love wearables, and I’m hoping next year I see even more useful health-related apps that take advantage of wearables.

A favorite event of 2018?

I’ve been talking about AIScope in many congresses this year. Still, the two I like were ASTMH in New Orleans for the contacts I made to support the project and Data Natives because of the quality of the speakers and because it was in Berlin, and I’m deep into the DS community there.

Do you have a mentor? If so, what advice have you found most valuable?

I don’t have one mentor; I’m surrounded by several interesting and experienced people I regularly talk with and ask for advice. I love the inspiration and knowledge I get from them.

What advice would you offer digital startups?

Be realistic with the technology you plan to use. AI is mighty, but at this moment still can’t do everything.

If you could change one thing in tech, what would it be?

In an ideal world, I would remove marketing from tech, I know they go hand in hand, but I’m done hearing marketing bullshit about AI.

What do you think is the most over-hyped technology?

Without a doubt, blockchain. It is something useful for sure, but most of the projects (99%) are just crap. I stop listening when someone talks to me about it. Unfortunately, AI comes close behind, but I hope this hype will end soon.

Barcelona or Berlin?

Difficult question, Barcelona during winter, but both cities are cosmopolitan easy to live cities, with a booming startup scene.

What do you do in your free time?

I love all kinds of sports, but primarily mountain-related sports like rock climbing. It seems weird, but it is also a perfect moment for networking; you can’t imagine how many interesting tech-related people you can meet in the mountains.

What are you focused on in 2019?

Portraits in Digital Health - Eduardo Peire

In 2019, we were doing again something that was never done before, a dataset of infectious diseases that will be open for research and will be made with the collaboration of hospitals and labs all over the world (a similar workflow like Wikipedia), something extremely needed for machine learning research in the health scene, but that was never done before.

Portraits in Digital Health – Eduardo Peire

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