Inside the AI healthcare revolution: meeting the robots that can detect Alzheimer's and depression

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Featured in The Telegraph, August 28, 2017

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In a different building in Toronto’s Mars Discovery District, another pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence is working on that exact problem. The aim of Brendan Frey’s work is simple. “We want to change medicine,” he says.

The 48-year-old, who is a professor at the University of Toronto and chief executive of the AI health research company Deep Genomics, which he started in 2014, has painful personal experience of the current knowledge gap in genetic disease.

In 2002, he and his wife were told their third child with whom she was pregnant at the time could be suffering from an (unnamed) genetic disorder.

“We were told it could be nothing, or it could be a disaster,” Frey recalls. “It was very difficult to deal with, and we ended up terminating the pregnancy.”

At the time, Frey was on the technical advisory board of Microsoft working on speech recognition. Following the death of his unborn child, he decided to leave and begin focusing on developing the technology that could cure genetic disorders.