State of the Industry: Checking in on AI Trends and Progress with Fernanda Foertter

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In the latest episode of Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast, host Stan Gloss, co-founder of BioTeam, talks with Fernanda Foertter, director of developer relations at Voltron Data, about her AI experiences in the past few years, whether we’ve made any real progress, and if she thinks AI is a pipe dream. “It feels like it’s a pipe dream to be able to get these things right [today]… I think as we get the ability to regularize and get data in a way that looks as harmonized as possible, things will improve. But the problem is getting to that point.”

Foertter also shares her thoughts about imputation, why most companies should stop buying AI startups and hire a statistician, and why sharing data is one of the most critical components of industry progress. “What’s going to change the world is when we start learning how to share data with one another. The differentiator is going to be how you do the service, and not necessarily the data that you hold. People who understand that and see that will actually benefit far more than people who are thinking that their data is gold, and they have a lot more than the next person.”

Fernanda Foertter, Director of Developer Relations, Voltron Data
Fernanda Foertter is currently the Director of Developer Relations at Voltron Data. She previously held roles as the Senior Scientific Consultant for BioTeam and GPU Developer Advocate for Bioinformatics at NVIDIA in the Healthcare group where she fostered an emerging community in AI and GPU computing. Before NVIDIA, Foertter held roles as an HPC Data Scientist in the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering group and was an HPC Programmer and Training Coordinator at the Oak Ridge National Lab’s Leadership Computing Facility. She participated in the CORAL project that selected Summit as the next supercomputer to replace Titan, was co-PI of Kokkos Exascale Computing Project, served in OpenACC and OpenMP language standards, and is the “inventor” of the GPU Hackathon training series. Other interests include the intersection of HPC and AI, facilitating data integration workflows, and productivity in scientific application development.



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