Jim McGowan, head of product at ElectrifAi – Interview Series
Jim McGowan, head of product at ElectrifAi – Interview Series
by: Antoine Tardif
July 13, 2020
Jim McGowan, Head of Product at ElectrifAi, specializes in extracting massive amounts of disparate data, transforming chaotic structured and unstructured data into actionable business insights.
What attracted you to the world of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)?
AI systems largely consist of distilling an expert’s experience down to a flow chart. This works intuitively but the systems quickly grow complex and don’t live up to their promise. Small problems can be solved this way but it makes practical solutions to real-world problems unattainable. Building practical systems with just AI is impractical.
Then machine learning came along. I first learned of this fantastic solution that unlocks the promise of AI while I was earning a doctorate for work in cognitive science.
I was instantly hooked.
My work with ElectrifAi fulfills that promise by building solutions that help our clients run their business better.
ElectrifAi uses Practical AI to guide companies to do more with the data they already have. Can you elaborate on how ElectrifAi defines PracticalAi?
PracticalAi solves real-world business problems with a solution that not only works well but is based on a clear understanding of the data, has a definitive outcome, fits into existing processes and tools, ships on time, and delivers tremendous business value.
ElectrifAi leverages client data to provide actionable insights for real business needs. Decisions are made better and faster.
Companies don’t replace their data systems, a specific business model isn’t required, and we don’t take a year to maybe deliver something that compromises on what a client set out to do.
ElectrifAi provides a flexible, high-quality solution that is simple to use and does what it is supposed to do very, very well. That’s PracticalAi.
We make sure with every solution that we achieve the best-in-class:
- Quick time-to-value
- Actionable insights
- Premium data cleansing
- Superior ROIs
Could you give some details on how ElectrifAi enables companies to use PracticalAi?
ElectrifAi pulls data from all systems, whether they are custom-developed databases, highly customized solutions from major vendors, or even a data dump from a legacy application. Cleaning and understanding that data allows us to find clear, meaningful signals in the chaos. Machine learning extracts valuable insights from those signals and we indicate how to act on the insights.
SpendAi, for example, uses machine learning to clean and categorize 98-99% of all a client’s procurement systems. The client controls the categorization on a granular level in just seconds through a drag-and-drop interface.
That is unique and incredibly powerful.
Applying another group of machine learning algorithms gives a clear, simple view of where spend is going. Parsing contracts and extracting key clauses is a great benefit of machine learning but we also make specific recommendations. Now that is a great benefit for companies looking to make strategic business decisions.
For instance, a client may be due a discount but the clause is buried in a contract term. They may be over-relying on a vendor in a category who is at financial risk themselves. Or their position with a vender may be under-leveraged if that vendor operates under multiple names across many divisions within the company.
ElectrifAi brings all that to the surface so the client can reduce their spend, increase their working capital, and lower their risk.
Could you discuss PulmoAi CT and how it may increase efficiency for radiologists and improve radiological outcomes?
PulmoAi CT is an advanced image analytic product designed specifically for pulmonary CT scans. Combining PracticalAi, machine learning, and image processing technology, PulmoAi CT automatically segments pulmonary scans pixel by pixel, without blurring or distortion experienced with similar technologies.
The result: Crisply rendered 3D imagery, enabling the immediate identification of indications for tumors, nodules, COVID-19, and other anomalies.
With PulmoAi Ct, radiologies can easily zoom in on pulmonary details, viewing them side-by-side with both clinical analyses and original images. PulmoAi CT quantifies each lung feature with precise metrics, including feature size, and morphological and volumetric extent. This enables the careful monitoring of anomaly progression, even in the presence of multiple morbidities.
PulmoAi CT is not a brute-force approach that requires tens of thousands of samples to work. Producing results while other AI solutions are still looking for training data, PulmoAi CT is a very different technology than any product in the market or research laboratory.
The results are game-changing.
There is nothing else like it. PulmoAi CT is powerful and will change what radiologists can accomplish.
Another ElectrifAi product is the PulmoAi X-ray which directly addresses the use of X-rays in crisis zones. Could you discuss this technology?
Adapting to the specific challenges of the pandemic, PulmoAi X-ray goes a step further than merely distinguishing healthy lungs from COVID-19 infected lungs. The cloud-based solution identifies the crucial differences between coronavirus-positive patients sent home who recover safely and those sent home who return in need of intubation.
Pre-trained on pulmonary scans from hospitals in crisis zones, PulmoAi X-ray leverages deep learning neural network technologies to identify critical abnormalities associated with COVID-19.
PulmoAi X-ray is unique because it is narrowly tuned to answer the problem hospitals in crisis zones are trying to answer: will self-quarantine work, or does the patient need hospitalization?
ContractAi, another ElectrifAi product, uses practical AI, machine learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automatically read, analyze, and compare contracts across the enterprise. Could you discuss this product and the best use cases for it?
ContractAi is designed for users who interact with contracts in a day-to-day operational role.
For example, ContractAi helps people in a procurement group who analyze spend against vendor agreements. Due to recent economic shockwaves from COVID-19, ContractAi is helping companies understand any leverage they may have to exit supplier contracts.
When this capability is connected to our SpendAi product, one can immediately understand the financial impact of this leverage and use that knowledge strategically.
One of the largest advantages of ContractAi is that it works with contract data in any format. No manual entry and no specific formatting is required.
Another key advantage is the technology is designed specifically for those who use contracts in an operational role. Also, many of the existing contract processing technologies are designed for attorneys, who have a different set of concerns.
Is there anything else you would like to share about ElectrifAi?
As the oldest global machine learning company, we have a unique view into how various markets are developing and using machine learning. We understand how machine learning capabilities can be translated from one geography and/or vertical market to another to help solve substantial problems.
We have spent years around the world helping businesses engage their customers using data science. Leveraging that expertise, we help the US healthcare industry with patient engagement, forging a new path for healthcare and getting patients to return to hospitals for critical elective surgeries.