Pierre Fabre Laboratories and Microsoft launch the first “Ai Health Challenge” in France

23 November 2017

During the 28th edition of the Festival de la Communication Santé (Festival of Health Communication), which takes place in Deauville on 24 and 25 November, Pierre Fabre Laboratories and Microsoft are organizing the first ever French challenge for artificial intelligence in the field of health. The challenge is open to businesses working in health care and AI: e-health start-ups proficient in AI, S SII, data scientists, leading French universities, research units and students passionate about these themes!

An innovative format: two winning teams selected, an “online” challenge and project support and incubation at the Microsoft AI Factory to compete for

How better to identify potential key players and find partners for new data and artificial intelligence projects at the Pharmaceuticals and Health Care branch of the French laboratory than by asking them to take part in a challenge? The challenge consists of recognizing a melanoma on the basis of dermatoscopic images of a mole. In order to achieve this, participants will have access to thousands of images and the Microsoft Azure platform.

The most successful AI will be awarded a prize (€5,000) and will be supported in developing the project within the Microsoft AI Factory for two months with the aim of concluding the project with a “use case”. The program includes accommodation at Station F and mentoring by the Microsoft, Pierre Fabre and AI Factory start-up teams.

A second prize (referred to as “online”) of €2,000 will be awarded to the best team to have participated online rather than via the Festival of Communication in Deauville. This team will also benefit from project support at the Microsoft AI Factory.

The aim is measure the power of the AIs that will be competing and to measure this performance by calculating scores that we have called IQ to make an analogy with our human brain. A score will be obtained to assess the capacity for training and classification based on the dataset provided and thereby generate a ranking. The challenge will also be open online and in English in order to make it as accessible as possible, explains Thierry Picard, Chief Digital Officer at Pierre Fabre Health Care.

Building the future of AI in health care by launching the first AI health barometer

This first challenge is also an opportunity to launch the first AI health barometer.

We would like to successfully mobilize the ecosystem of health care artificial intelligence applications in order to found the first AI health care observatory and publish each quarter a barometer of the expertise and skills in this domain on constantly evolving therapeutic areas and applications, states Thierry Picard.

The teams, start-ups and companies who will form this barometer will then be required to work on new datasets to explore new health-related themes and new pathologies in a long term approach.

Microsoft - a highly-valued technical partner

This French challenge for artificial intelligence in the field of health has received a serious boost with the involvement and support of Microsoft, a key player in applied artificial intelligence across the globe. The Redmond-based company will make its Azure solution and the calculating power of its cloud available to participants. A superlative technical infrastructure to host and incubate participants’ AIs.

Through the AI Factory, we hope to stimulate the creation of an AI community within Station F and thereby accelerate the deployment of a genuine French Artificial Intelligence ecosystem that promotes innovation beyond borders. The support of the winning start-up in the AI Health challenge with Pierre Fabre reflects this approach, explains Benjamin Talmard, Program Manager Microsoft @ Station F. 

Support with Data and Datascience provided by Velvet Consulting

Velvet will make available their Data Director and one of their Datascientists to assist with coaching teams and providing support to Pierre Fabre Laboratories.

Artificial Intelligence to highlight the skill of human designers and developers

Artificial intelligence is primarily the result of the human intelligence that creates and educates these machines that are able to learn. The aim of this challenge is to promote the work of artificial intelligence professionals, because as Thierry Picard reminds us: For us, the human dimension involved in measuring performance is just as important as the technical tool itself. Hypotheses are generated by humans, and it is therefore the agility of the team that is assessed rather than the performance of the technical platform in use.

The choice of the Festival of Health Communication in Deauville to host this big first is also significant, because “it is an ideal setting and sounding board entirely suited to this type of event as it brings together all the players in the field: labs healthcare professionals, patients, media etc.”. A recognized forum for discussion and networking that on 24 and 25 November will reunite the best experts and laymen in health care innovation under the driving force of its president, Dominique Noel, who strives each year to promote “those who do”, rather than “those who say”.

This is a philosophy that reflects the ethos of this unique challenge, which aims to evolve towards a barometer that is as relevant as possible and has its roots in French initiatives in artificial intelligence in health care.

 More information on the AI Challenge