Artificial Intelligence Applications for Health Data

Advanced Learning Certificate

“I have no fear of AI replacing me, but rather those who master AI.”

Seize your opportunity to thrive in the age of artificial intelligence by diving into the application guide for the highly sought-after AI Certificate Program offered by Professional Development at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis.

“Our findings reveal that around 80% of the US workforce could have at least 10% of their work tasks affected by the introduction of large language models, while approximately 19% of workers may see at least 50% of their tasks impacted.” (OpenAI, 2023). The concept of Technological Singularity, as proposed by futurists, marks a pivotal moment in AI development when it reaches an irreversible stage of progress. Beyond this threshold, AI is expected to evolve and improve hastily, giving rise to a novel AI ecosystem. This could potentially culminate in the emergence of a superintelligence, ushering in significant transformations and impacts on human society that are beyond our measure (Shanahan, 2015).

While there is a debate within academia about when Technological Singularity may occur, a consensus exists that it is an eventuality, possibly even an imminent one. The advancement of AI technology has skyrocketed in recent years, unleashing an avalanche of groundbreaking innovations at an unprecedented pace. As we find ourselves in the vortex of this technological evolution, the urgent nature of our response becomes evident.

The sentiment, “I have no fear of AI replacing me, but rather those who master AI,” has recently gained significant resonance among professionals. This is in response to the emerging disruption in the labor market caused by large AI models capable of generating text, images, and code, such as ChatCPT, DALL.E, and Copilot.

The widely-quoted English proverb, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” encapsulates a fundamental truth: fear often stems from distance and unfamiliarity. Hence, understanding, learning, and mastering AI is the most effective way to dispel our fears and convert AI from an intimidating unknown into a beneficial tool at our disposal.

In contrast to the first three industrial revolutions—powered by the steam engine, electricity, and the internet—access to AI technology has been democratized by open-source software (like Python) and cloud computing. This allows everyone, irrespective of age, gender, nationality, race, region, social class, or economic status, to participate in learning and applying AI technology, thereby joining its open community.

  • Since 2012, the number of AI and data science-related jobs in the US has risen 650% (LinkedIn)
  • By 2026, it is projected that the US will add an extra 11.5 million jobs in the fields of AI and data science, outpacing all other industries (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The median annual salary for roles in these fields is currently $120,000 (Glassdoor)

In this transformative era of technology, regardless of our backgrounds, the secret to thriving lies in cultivating an open mind, nurturing a youthful spirit of curiosity, and actively participating in the AI community. Envision transcending the confines of centuries-old statistical formulas, such as the t-test, to unlock the immense potential of AI. The notion of acquiring expertise in state-of-the-art natural language processing or computer vision models within a matter of months may seem remarkable. However, this is not mere speculation; it is a tangible reality. It is this very reality that sparked the creation of Washington University in St. Louis’ exceptional AI Certificate Program.

Launched for the first time in Fall 2022, the Brown School’s AI Certificate Program has quickly distinguished itself among top US universities through its unique, hands-on approach. With a global presence, the program tailors its immersive curriculum to cater to a diverse range of disciplines, from healthcare and nutrition to economics, social sciences, and humanities. During its inaugural year, it successfully attracted participants from a wide array of industries and professions worldwide, including students, professors, freelancers, government officials, startup partners, corporate executives, and programmers of all skill levels. Despite their varying backgrounds, all participants made remarkable progress through a semester of rigorous and efficient learning. Our highly compact yet comprehensive AI training program continues to underscore its tangible value, inviting you to partake in this transformative journey.

AI, as a general-purpose technology, has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of sectors, from agriculture and finance to humanities and autonomous driving. It can be used to predict disease incidence rates or forecast price fluctuations and weather changes using similar models. To better illustrate the practical applications of AI, consider a participant in our training program who is involved in medical or public health research but lacks an advanced statistical background or coding experience. After completing our program, they could potentially leverage AI technology to embark on diverse projects, for example:

  • Non-invasive skin cancer diagnosis through image recognition
  • Building an intelligent mental health counseling platform for personalized guidance
  • Implementing natural language processing technology to offer intelligent Q&A services for medical education and training
  • Developing a smart health monitoring app providing customized health advice based on user data
  • Using AI technology to analyze epidemiological data for early epidemic outbreak warnings
  • Constructing a Parkinson’s disease diagnostic model based on deep learning
  • Developing an AI-based diabetes risk prediction model
  • Using computer vision technology for automated cell counting
  • Assisting in barrier-free communication between doctors and patients using natural language processing
  • Developing an AI-based sleep disorder assessment tool

Moreover, professionals from various fields, such as economics, law, finance, nutrition, social sciences, and demography, can apply AI to their own disciplines. One of AI’s undisputable advantages over most other technologies is its high transferability, significantly lowering industry-specific barriers to its applications.

For instance, a nutritionist proficient in AI natural language models can apply this model in contexts entirely unrelated to nutrition. They could translate and summarize financial news published in various languages, automatically check legal texts and provide correction suggestions, assist in creating novels and poetry, analyze and evaluate the public acceptance and satisfaction of specific policy measures, or even engage in the image and sound recognition projects. Indeed, the popular transformer language models are already widely used in computer vision.

As AI continues to surge in popularity, it is common to encounter misconceptions and even apprehension about it. You might be thinking,

  • “I’ve never coded before…”,
  • “I studied the humanities, not math or statistics…”, or
  • “Even if I started learning AI now, there’s no way I could compete with computer scientists and AI experts…”

The AI Certificate Program is specially designed to take you from an AI novice to a confident practitioner, breaking down barriers of “impossibility” and “impracticality” along the way.

Concerned AI requires years of computer programming experience?
Rest easy! With the user-friendly Python language and an array of modular API tools built on it, we’ve simplified the learning curve. You’ll find yourself mastering AI programming in no time.

Worried about the need for advanced mathematics or statistical knowledge?
Not necessary! If your ambition is AI application and practice—a goal shared by most AI practitioners—rather than creating new algorithms, there’s no requirement for in-depth math or statistics. Of course, if you’re intrigued, you can always delve into these subjects once you’re comfortable with AI tools.

Feel you can’t compete with computer scientists and AI experts?
Remember, you don’t need to! Your unique expertise, whether in healthcare, social sciences, or any other field, gives you the advantage. You’ll be applying AI within your domain and becoming an interdisciplinary data scientist—one of the most sought-after professionals in this era!

We’re thrilled to present the “Artificial Intelligence Applications for Health Data” at Washington University in St. Louis. Its distinguishing features include:

  • An educational journey from beginner (Python language, machine learning basics) to expert (modern neural networks)
  • Comprehensive exposure to state-of-the-art AI tools and models
  • Integrated classroom case studies and programming demonstrations using Google Colab
  • Weekly real-world problem-solving exercises providing end-to-end solutions
  • A complete set of teaching materials and programming exercises, ready to use as templates to boost your productivity

For example, our course covers state-of-the-art AI tools and models such as large language models (e.g., ChatGPT/GPT-4, Hugging Face transformers, Bard, LangChain, Pinecone), text-to-image models (Stable Diffusion, DALL.E, Midjourney, DeepFloyd IF), autoML models (e.g., TPOT, Auto-Sklearn), code generation models (Copilot, Starcoder), and more. Moreover, Professor An and his team are committed to staying on the pulse of AI advancements. If significant new models or tools emerge before or during the course, they will be considered for inclusion, ensuring our curriculum remains at the forefront of AI technology.

As another example, Professor Ruopeng An, the founding director and instructor of the AI Certificate Program, recently published a book titled “Supercharge Your Research Productivity with ChatGPT: A Practical Guide.” Using nearly a hundred tangible, real-world research examples, Professor An showed how we can wield the power of ChatGPT to comprehensively and systematically assist in scientific research, covering ten aspects:

  • Pinpoint compelling research topics and formulate intriguing questions
  • Develop robust hypotheses
  • Conduct comprehensive literature reviews
  • Choose the most appropriate research design and methodology
  • Develop valid, reliable research tools
  • Streamline data collection
  • Analyze and interpret data with precision
  • Draft impactful research papers and reports
  • Respond effectively to peer review feedback
  • Communicate and share research findings with the global community

The Certificate Program is a meticulously curated program designed for professionals keen to harness the power of contemporary AI technologies. We provide practical, straightforward guidance coupled with abundant opportunities for hands-on practice, enabling you to learn and employ state-of-the-art AI models to tackle real-world health and social issues.

Who should apply?
Our certificate program is tailored for professionals who are passionate about harnessing the power of AI to analyze health data for research or industrial applications. We encourage applicants who can dedicate a minimum of 5-6 hours per week, possess a foundational understanding of statistics, and have some hands-on experience with any statistical software package. Proficiency in Python is advantageous but not a prerequisite.

What is the structure of the program?
The course structure seamlessly transitions from foundational concepts to advanced applications across three distinct segments.

Weeks 1 – 2: Diving into Machine Learning

  • Unveiling the mystery of AI
  • Laying the groundwork with Python coding
  • Mastering data wrangling with NumPy and Pandas
  • Bringing data to life with Matplotlib visualization

Weeks 3 – 7: Harnessing Machine Learning Applications

  • Tackling classification tasks
  • Demystifying regression tasks
  • Empowering model training and validation
  • Exploring the power of support vector machines
  • Unfolding decision trees
  • Discovering ensemble methods like Random Forest and XGBoost
  • Grasping dimensionality reduction
  • Delving into unsupervised learning
  • Revealing the power of autoML

Weeks 8 – 15: Venturing into Deep Learning Applications

  • Establishing a solid foundation with neural networks
  • Immersing in computer vision: From convolutional neural networks to image classification, object detection, image segmentation, image generation, and more
  • Embracing natural language processing: Learn about Transformers neural networks, sentiment analysis, natural language generation, text summarization, question-answering systems, text translation, chatbot, prompt engineering, and more
  • Introducing recommender systems
  • Forecasting with time series data
  • Creating synthetic data to facilitate research and analysis

To ensure mastery of these subjects, weekly assignments using real-world datasets related to health and other sectors will supplement your learning journey.

What are the learning outcomes?
Upon completion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Grasp profound knowledge in the fields of AI, machine learning, and deep learning
  • Acquire familiarity with state-of-the-art AI models, along with their diverse applications
  • Comprehend data biases and data ethics, and develop the skills necessary for constructing ethical, responsible AI models
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Python and widely-used APIs
  • Apply AI models effectively to address health and social problems

To successfully complete the AI Certificate Program, it is crucial to meet the rigorous evaluation criteria, which entail attending and actively participating in weekly class meetings and diligently completing weekly assignments.

What are the admission prerequisites?

  • Applicants are required to have access to a computer equipped with a webcam and reliable internet service
  • Basic knowledge of statistics is required, including basic experience with a statistical software package such as R, SAS, SPSS, Stata, or equivalent
  • Compliance with Washington University policies is a requisite for all students
  • Please note that pursuing the AI Certificate course while on OPT (Optional Practical Training) is not permitted. For any specific questions, email us at browncertificates@wustl.edu or through WeChat (ID: WUSTLBrownSchool).

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