The combination of leading AI and life science experts working together here in Kendall Square bodes well for our shared future.  Our superpowers–purpose, collaboration, vision, talent, and fearless pursuit of science and innovation–were on display when a panel of Kendall’s leading AI and life science experts focused on the future at the KSA’s 15th Anniversary Celebration/Annual Meeting in  Microsoft’s NERD Center. 

The panel, facilitated by Lee McGuire, KSA Board Chair and Chief Communications Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, featured Mehrtash Babadi, Director of Computational Methods at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Jennat Jounaidi,  Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School student and member of Innovators for Purpose, Chris Marra, Director of Product Management at Meta, Soundar Srinivasan, Director of Microsoft’s AI Program in Kendall, and Jeremy Wertheimer, Kendall entrepreneur.  

Here are our top 10 takeaways, including some advice, to help us explore and lead in the development of AI together, responsibly, and with a commitment to improving the human condition. 

  1. INTEGRATING AI, BIOLOGY AND HEALTH CARE IS A MOMENTOUS TURNING POINT IN HUMAN HEALTH, said Mehrtash Babadi. AI is bringing us closer to Jeremy Wertheimer’s early career dream of being able to read all the biology papers on any given topic.
  2. KENDALL SQUARE IS POISED TO LEAD IN THE FUTURE OF AI AND LIFE SCIENCES BECAUSE OF OUR TALENT, EXPERTISE AND FOCUS ON LEARNING, thanks to our academic institutions, startup culture, purpose-driven innovation ecosystem,  and focus on learning, learning, learning.  
  3. AI IS A CONTINUATION OF THE INTERNET REVOLUTION, AI is integrating increasing amounts of data in a wide array of fields.
  4. GENERATIVE AI PRESENTS A TOOL FOR EVERYONE, offered Chris Marra who compared AI to previous revolutionary technologies—mobile phones and the internet.
  5. THE PACE OF AI IS TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES, said Soundar Srinivasan who cited the unprecedented speed with which ChatGPT reached 100 million users. The panelists counseled the audience to stay informed and curious.
  6. AI MUST BE DEVELOPED RESPONSIBLY, ETHICALLY, AND EQUITABLY to ensure that marginalized communities are included, and to avoid unintended consequences, said Jennat Jounaidi. The panel and applauding audience agreed. The panelists encouraged democratizing AI and holding one another accountable through openness, transparency, and setting ethical parameters.
  7. BE A SKEPTIC AND TRACK THE PROVENANCE OF DIFFERENT CONTENT so you can validate the content and avoid mistakes. 
  8. HAVE A GROWTH MINDSET, BE ADAPTIVE, BE IN THE KNOW and track what’s happening in fields of interest to you. Experiment, and learn how to prompt AI effectively. 
  9. DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY AI, many of AI’s advances are rooted in simple concepts. Embracing the underlying simplicity can empower you to engage with AI more effectively.
  10. NURTURE TALENT AND LEADERSHIP here in Kendall to ensure we remain a hub for AI, especially AI and life science.