Artificial Intelligence Awards
22nd November 2018
Ireland’s first AI Award winners have been announced at the inaugural AI Awards. The awards held at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin was organised by the non-profit, AI Ireland with support from Microsoft, Alldus International, the ADAPT Centre and SAP.
Two of the six winners included Nuritas which won ‘AI in Sector’ category and INFANT Research Centre which was the winner in the ‘Academic Research’ category.
Nuritas’ unique, disruptive computational approach to discovery uses artificial intelligence, deep learning and genomics to rapidly and efficiently predict and then provide access to the most beneficial for health components hidden within food, called peptides, with in silico predictions validated by their in-house multidisciplinary team of scientists and laboratory. The company, founded by Dr. Nora Khaldi has received global recognition for the impact of its innovative technology which includes multiple award wins and support from EU Horizon 2020 in 2016 for a peptide that carries the potential to prevent pre-diabetic patients from developing diabetes.
The INFANT Research Centre is Ireland’s first dedicated translational research Centre, focused on maternal and child health, hosted by University College Cork. It’s co-founding directors are Prof. Louise Kenny (now adjunct professor with INFANT) and Prof. Geraldine Boylan (Principal Investigator with INFANT). Every year around the world, 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, 2.6 million babies are stillborn and further 2.6 million babies die in their first month of life. INFANT’s aim is to meet the urgent demands for screening tests, diagnostics, therapeutics, enhanced nutrition and devices for early identification, diagnosis and effective treatment to prevent these perinatal complications and associated adverse outcomes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key strategic platforms that INFANT uses to create new diagnostic tools and treatment pathways. They analyse very large and complex health datasets led by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, engineers and midwives to find new health innovations. INFANT’s AI-based work has been patented, published in top clinical and engineering journals, licensed to medical manufacturers and some discoveries are undergoing world-wide clinical trials.
Other Award winners included: Niamh Donnelly (UCD) for the ‘Student Project’ category; EdgeTier for the ‘StartUp’ category; McKesson Corp. for ‘Large Enterprise’ category and Voysis, a complete voice AI platform which won the ‘Consumer / Customer Service’ category.
Cathriona Hallahan, General Manager, Microsoft Ireland, commented “These awards are a recognition of the advances that are making AI more powerful, impactful and prevalent than ever before, and shows how much of an opportunity it presents. Today, we have seen a thoughtful approach to AI by all of these finalists that mirrors our own mission to empower every person on the planet to achieve more in an ethical, responsible and innovative way. I am delighted that Microsoft can support this event which recognises Irish innovation in what is being dubbed the fourth industrial revolution.”
Mark Kelly, Founder of AI Ireland & Chief Customer Officer at Alldus, commented: “Artificial Intelligence refers to technologies that enable machines to sense, comprehend and learn, either on their own or to augment human activities. AI is unleashing the next wave of digital disruption, and these companies here today show Ireland is at the cutting edge of tech innovation. Ireland will further benefit from formalising a national AI strategy so that such innovation is developed to ensure Irish companies become leaders in the global AI economy”.
Caption: Cathriona Hallahan (pictured left), Microsoft Ireland and Mark Kelly, founder of AI Award Ireland (top right) presenting the Academic Research AI Award to Brian Murphy (top left), Oksana Semenova (centre), and Andriy Temko (bottom right) from The INFANT Research Centre, University College Cork. INFANT won the Academic Research award for the creation of an algorithm that can help detect seizures in newborn babies. Image: Conor McCabe Photography.