“The Exquisite Machine: The New Science of the Heart” with Professor Sian Harding

The Exquisite Machine on Bridging the Gaps

The heartbeat may be the first physical manifestation of an unborn child that can be seen six weeks after conception, and it continues roughly 100,000 times per day for as long as we are alive. Scientists and researchers have attempted to recreate the heart’s flawless engineering for decades in labs all around the world, but have been unsuccessful. Its exact operation and capacity to meet both our bodily and emotional demands makes it a marvel of engineering that is unmatched by anything built by humans. Any damage to this vital organ of the human body could result in problems that are potentially fatal.

In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with professor Sian Harding about new scientific developments that are opening up the mysteries of the heart, as outlined in her new book “The Exquisite Machine: The New Science of the Heart”. We discuss cutting-edge technologies such as stem cells, gene editing, artificial intelligence and big data that have crucial real-world consequences for health and well-being.These technologies are enabling experiments and clinical trials that will lead to the development of new treatments for heart diseases.

Professor Sian Harding is a leading authority in cardiac science, and emeritus professor of cardiac pharmacology in Imperial College London. She was special advisor to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on Regenerative Medicine, and has been awarded the Imperial College Medal and a lifetime achievement award from the European Society of Cardiology.

We start off with a detailed discussion of how our present day understanding of the functioning of the human heart developed. We then discuss the cutting edge research on cardiac stem cells, touching upon the experiments where a small number of beating cells were created in the labs. The application of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics are playing an important role in the field of cardiac research; we go through these topics in detail. Plasticity is a concept that we associate with the brain and its ability to rewire itself to manage any damage or other changes; We discuss the term plastic brain that Sian Harding uses in the book while explaining the resilience of our heart. We then discuss the nervous system that ensures that the heart responds to changing needs. We look into the relation between the emotions and functioning of the heart, discussing that the heart not only responds to our emotions but creates emotions as well. And finally we touch upon the importance of keeping “gender” in mind when developing and implementing solutions for heart related diseases and problems. This has been a highly informative discussion.

Complement this discussion with “Zero to Birth: How the Human Brain Is Built” with Professor William Harris and then listen to “The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds” with Professor Christopher Mason

By |December 1st, 2022|Artificial Intelligence, Biology, Podcasts, Research, Technology|

“Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration” with Professor Thomas Davenport and Professor Steven Miller

Working with AI Reviewed at Bridging the Gaps

There is a widespread view that artificial intelligence is a job destroyer technical endeavour. There is both enthusiasm and doom around automation and the use of artificial intelligence-enabled “smart” solutions at work. In their latest book “Working with AI: Real Stories of Human-Machine Collaboration”, management and technology experts professor Thomas Davenport and professor Steven Miller explain that AI is not primarily a job destroyer, despite popular predictions, prescriptions, and condemnation. Rather, AI alters the way we work by automating specific tasks but not entire careers, and thus freeing people to do more important and difficult work. In the book, they demonstrate that AI in the workplace is not the stuff of science fiction; it is currently happening to many businesses and workers. They provide extensive, real-world case studies of AI-augmented occupations in contexts ranging from finance to the manufacturing floor.

In this episode of Bridging the Gaps I speak with professor Thomas Davenport and professor Steven Miller to discuss their fascinating research, and to talk through various case studies and real work use cases that they outline in the book. We discuss the impact of Artificial intelligence technologies on the job market and on the future of work. We also discuss future hybrid working environments where AI and Humans will work side by side.

Professor Thomas Davenport is a Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, a visiting professor at the Oxford University and a Fellow of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Steven Miller is Professor Emeritus of Information Systems at Singapore Management University.

We begin our discussion by looking at various aspects of the environments where AI and human workers work side by side, and then discuss the concept of Hybrid Intelligence. Then we talk about the challenges that organisations are faced with while developing and implementing Artificial Intelligence enabled technologies and solutions in enterprise environments. An important question that I raise during our discussion is, are the organisations ready for large scale deployment of AI solutions. The book is full of real world case studies and covers a wide variety of use cases. We delve into a number of these real world case studies and use cases. This has been a very informative discussion.

Complement this discussion with “The Technology Trap” and the Future of Work” with Dr Carl Frey and then listen to “Machines like Us: TOWARD AI WITH COMMON SENSE” with Professor Ronald Brachman

By |October 31st, 2022|Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Future, Podcasts, Technology|

“Zero to Birth: How the Human Brain Is Built” with Professor William Harris

Zero to Birth reviewed on Bridging the Gaps

A single fertilised egg generates an embryo. Different cell types in this embryo develop into various organs of a new human being, including a new human brain. Everything starts with a single fertilised egg, and in the embryo, some embryonic cells develop into neural stem cells that construct the brain. By the time a baby is born, its brain is already made up of billions of precisely designed neurons that are connected by trillions of synapses to form a small, compact but incredibly powerful supercomputer. In his recent book “Zero to Birth: How the Human Brain Is Built” pioneering experimental neurobiologist professor William Harris takes the reader on an incredible journey to the very edge of creation, from the moment an egg is fertilised to every stage of a human brain’s development in the womb — and even a bit beyond. In this episode of Bridging the Gaps, I speak with Professor William Harris the process of how the brain is built.

William Harris is professor emeritus of anatomy at the University of Cambridge. He is the coauthor of Development of the Nervous System and Genetic Neurobiology and the co-editor of Retinal Development. He is a fellow of the Royal Society.

We begin by examining the evolutionary history of the brain, which spans billions of years and in the Proterozoic eon, when multicellular animals first descended from single-celled organisms, and then we discuss how the development of a fetal brain over the course of nine months reflects the brain’s evolution through the ages. We discuss the emergence of first neural stem cells and how the formation of the neural plate and then its progress to the neural tube give the first glimpses of the development of the brain in an embryo. We discuss in detail how cells divide and create neural stem cells and then how these stem cells start producing neurons. A fascinating topic that we then cover is how individual neurons form connections with other neurons. Professor Harris explains how comparative animal studies have been crucial to understanding what makes a human brain human, and how advances in science are assisting us in understanding many qualities that don’t manifest until later in life. This has been a fascinating discussion on an intriguing topic.

Complement this discussion with The Spike: Journey of Electric Signals in Brain from Perception to Action with Professor Mark Humphries and then listen to The Self-Assembling Brain” and the Quest for Artificial General Intelligence with Professor Peter Robin Hiesinger

By |October 15th, 2022|Biology, Neuroscience, Podcasts, Research|