When it comes to the things we use each day, we depend on them to work! This cannot just be some of the time; we need them to consistent be reliable. There should never be a hassle with equipment, especially in an industry such as healthcare, where sheer functional efficiency helps to save lives. No one knows this better than Aaron Hardin. His company, Hardin Scientific, Inc., designs and manufactures lab equipment that take the guesswork out of data reproduction so that it is “seamless, accessible, and secure”.
Tamara: Can you share a story that inspired you to get involved in AI?
Aaron: Several years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend in my military unit, helping him invent an automated bartender (the results of which I do not know). I was largely the technical inventor only dabbling in the software, he was the software techy and spoke proudly of how he hacked into banks during the early days and how he had to demonstrate his methods to avoid incarceration. We were discussing the potential implications of an AI on the manipulation of large data tables when he informed me of the traction in the industry. Many of my colleagues disregarded with skepticism, I began fact checking, jumping down the rabbit hole head first.
Tamara: Describe your company and the AI/predictive analytics/data analytics products/services you offer.
Aaron: When you look at what AI is, it’s still manipulation of large sets of data. Most AI is a fancy word for a complex, multivariable, algorithm for statistical probability. Of these data sets, you are either querying structured or unstructured datasets. We offer AI in the life science industry, which relies on very structured data. The nature of a scientific experiment is structured and allows for very rapid correlations and interpretations. With this technology, we are able to provide an exponential system for decreasing the cost of pharmaceutical development, an industry in dire need of help.
Tamara: How do you see the AI/data analytics/predictive analysis industry evolving in the future?
Aaron: I foresee the future where AI and ML further enable personalized medicine where your medical treatments are tailored to your genetics, the food you eat, the water you drink, and the air you breath. With this technology, life preservation therapies may enable us to live into our two and three hundreds.
Tamara: What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today in your opinion?
Aaron: The biggest challenge facing our industry is the red tape associated with personal health information. Without data, we can’t make predictions, and personal health data is the most difficult to obtain.
Tamara: How do you see your products/services evolving going forward?
Aaron: As our technology improves, we built our equipment to adapt to the advances. Our initial primary goal is to decrease expenses and time of drug discovery by half. Because technology changes so quickly, in the near future we may see this changing to ¾ or even 9/10ths reduction in expenses and time if discovery. Ultimately, AI is the future and we are just realizing the capabilities it unlocks and the lives we influence with it.
Tamara: What is your favorite AI movie and why?
Aaron: My favorite movie is actually titled “AI”. I love it because it shows us how an AI can unlock our most human qualities.
Tamara: What type of advice would you give my readers about AI?
Aaron: Technology by nature is pure; our biases and intentions determine its use and perception. With the ability to impact lives at this magnitude one must exercise a healthy proportion of fear and caution. Anyone who does not is ignorant and can damn us all.
Tamara: How does AI, particularly your product/service, bring goodness to the world? Can you explain how you help people?
Aaron: We are all touched by chronic disease whether through our friends, family, or loved ones. We give scientists the smart tools they need to do their job better. We give scientists the smart tools to Discover the Future.
Tamara: What would be the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you during your company’s evolution?
Aaron: We discovered there is more technology in the average American’s kitchen than in laboratories. We actually used this in our investor pitch, showing how most laboratory equipment hasn’t changed since the early 90’s along with cassettes, boom boxes, and Tab soda.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things that most excite you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Aaron: I am most excited about pharmaceuticals without symptoms, personalized medicine, and living to meet my 5th great-grandchild.
Tamara: What are the 3-5 things worry you about AI? Why? (industry specific)
Aaron: I worry about people leveraging AI for material gains and determining insurance premiums. I feel it is a human right to receive quality medicine and quality care. If we use AI at its full potential, we can do this affordably and with greater quality than we see today.
Tamara: Over the next three years, name at least one thing that we can expect in the future related to AI?
Aaron: In the next three years you will see the first general AI that leverages narrow AIs to accomplish broader tasks and functions. This will be one without the training wheels the narrow AIs still wear now.