New J-Clinic to harness machine learning tech

Hassan Jameel, left, president of Community Jameel Saudi Arabia, with MIT President L. Rafael Reif, center, and Fady Jameel, president of Community Jameel International.
Updated 25 September 2018
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New J-Clinic to harness machine learning tech

MIT and Community Jameel, the social enterprise organization founded and chaired by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel ‘78, launched the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (J-Clinic) on Tuesday. This is the fourth major collaborative effort between MIT and Community Jameel.
J-Clinic, a key part of the MIT Quest for Intelligence, will focus on developing machine learning technologies to revolutionize the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease. It will concentrate on creating and commercializing high-precision, affordable, and scalable machine learning technologies in areas of health care ranging from diagnostics to pharmaceuticals, with three main areas of focus:
l Preventative medicine methods and technologies with the potential to change the course of non-infectious disease by stopping it in its tracks.
l Cost-effective diagnostic tests that may be able to both detect and alleviate health problems.
l Drug discovery and development to enable faster and cheaper discovery, development, and manufacture of new pharmaceuticals, particularly those targeted for individually customized therapies.
J-Clinic’s holistic approach will utilize MIT’s expertise in cellular and medical biology, computer science, engineering, and the social sciences, among other areas.
“The health care system has no shortage of data,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “But it has far too little access to the kinds of tools and experts who can translate population-level data into clinical insights that could make it possible to tune care precisely for individuals. Building on MIT’s deep expertise in fields from cancer to neuroscience, and our longstanding connections to Boston’s world-class medical community, J-Clinic offers an accelerated path to creating new technologies that could help make health care more effective everywhere — from villages in developing nations to major teaching hospitals.”
“The J-Clinic will positively impact the world by accelerating the creation of machine learning technologies and algorithms that will make preventing, detecting, and treating disease more precise, affordable, and personalized,” said Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering, and Vannevar Bush, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who will serve as J-Clinic’s chair. “It will be a truly multifaceted effort that amplifies synergies between the life sciences and the latest research in human and machine intelligence. J-Clinic will inspire innovation for the betterment of humanity.”
“Channeling MIT’s machine learning expertise into health care will transform medical outcomes for people around the world,” said Fady Jameel, president of Community Jameel International. “Health care has been an important sphere of activity for Community Jameel since our earliest days, from founding the first nonprofit hospital for physical rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia, to partnering with the King Salman Center for Disability Research. J-Clinic continues our journey of supporting cutting-edge research and driving innovation in health care, in Saudi Arabia and around the whole world.”


Alef Education launches first project in US

From right, Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education; Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone and chairman of NexGen Education; and Hanut Singh, CEO of NexGen Education and CEO of QBS Learning.
Updated 17 October 2018
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Alef Education launches first project in US

Alef Education, a UAE-based education technology company, has announced the launch of its Alef education system in the US.

The system will be used at Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) schools in New York city, starting Oct. 15.

The Alef education system brings together a blend of the latest technology and pedagogical approaches geared toward learners of today. A key component of the system is the “Alef Platform,” which has three main pillars: 

•A fun and easy-to-use digital learning environment 

•High-quality digital content developed to engage and stimulate learning with a blend of videos, interactivities and games. 

•Real time data provided within each lesson to truly enable educators to support personalized learning and identify student strengths and weaknesses. 

The partnership between Alef Education and the Harlem Children’s Zone schools started in 2017 when leaders of those organizations met. The meeting included a review of best practices in pedagogy, instructional design, the use of technology, and the best ways to identify difficult concepts and detect struggling students early using data. 

Alef Education identified NexGen, an education technology startup based in New York City, as its US-based partner to carry forward the implementation of the program at the Harlem Children’s Zone schools and other school systems across the US. 

Geoffrey Alphonso, chief executive of Alef Education, said: “As a leading education technology company, we want to play a significant role in the creation of the next generation of innovative individuals around the world, and continue to provide the latest innovations in artificial intelligence-based and technology-driven education solutions within a holistic education system.” 

He added: “The implementation of our innovative education system in the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York city speaks of a quantum leap in our long-term mission to leverage technology to provide students with the personalized education they need to succeed, while also empowering teachers with real-time, actionable data.” 

Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children’s Zone schools in New York and chairman of NexGen Education, named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and as one of the 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alef Education’s innovative education system into our schools in New York as of October 2018. Education systems across the world are witnessing unprecedented transformations and a transition to a more dynamic education based on new technologies. In this context, we have decided to adopt this program to further enrich the resources available to our students to ensure they have access to the best the digital education industry has to offer.”