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The Future of Artificial Intelligence

by David Leichner Aug 25 2023

As part of a series about the future of Artificial Intelligence, David Leichner speaks to Dror Zur, PhD. on the ethical dilemmas raised by AI, for example in cases in which it is difficult to formulate the way humans are making critical decisions.

#Dror Zur #colonoscopy #AI
The Future of Artificial Intelligence

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path in AI?

Ihave decades of experience working in computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and medical device devices. About nine years ago, I discovered that the miss rate in polyp detection is an unmet need with a major technological challenge, and that with the new era of AI and deep learning techniques it can be solved. This was my main motivation to establish Magentiq Eye.

Magentiq Eye is a medical device startup company focused on the field of endoscopic medical procedures. Our solution helps alert doctors to polyps that might be otherwise missed.

What lessons can others learn from your story?

If you find an unmet need that you believe can be solved, if you have the passion to solve it, and if you find that there is a business case for this solution, then you have the right conditions to try to solve it.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now (NOTE: This is a great question to respond to with the recent news)?

Today, Magentiq Eye is testing a new version of our product that includes polyp size estimation and characterization. Additionally, we are working on colon landmark detection and calculation of the colon cleansing level. Finally, we are also working on a version for upper gastrointestinal procedures.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m grateful for the doctors who helped me to better understand the relevant aspects of their profession, and gave us the opportunity to collect the needed data to evaluate our technology. Specifically, I’m grateful to Dr. Harold Jacob from Hadassah Medical Center in Israel and to Prof. Peter Siersema from Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands, who worked with us and believed in us almost from the beginning, when things were much unclear. I’m also grateful to all our great investors who believe in us, to the great team of Magentiq Eye who made it happen, and to my wife and supporting family who gave me the opportunity to invest all these efforts in this project.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

  1. First, AI technology itself is fascinating because it changes the way we solve problems. Instead of thinking about specific algorithms as a solution, we learn more about the data that characterizes the problem and design how to teach the AI networks to understand this data. Based on that, the AI then predicts a solution for each new case it encounters.
  2. Next, because of its ability to generalize a solution from many different cases, AI enables us to solve a completely new level of problems that were previously considered unsolvable.
  3. Due to AI’s revolutionary potential, and since we are just in the beginning of this revolution, it is expected to be a dominant technology that will affect us for many years from now.
  4. AI significantly and positively affects a huge variety of domains in our lives, from healthcare through transportation and agriculture to our daily routines.
  5. AI will save us from a lot of manual work that requires attention to detail and a lot of time and effort. This will enable everyone to engage in issues that are more strategic, creative and impactful.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

  1. Abuse of AI technology, such as for terrorism or financial fraud.
  2. The use of AI in unfair ways, such as those that violate human rights.
  3. AI can increase the centralization of control in the hands of entities and corporations that have access to huge amounts of information.
  4. AI raises ethical dilemmas, for example, in cases in which it is difficult to formulate the way in which humans are making critical decisions.
  5. AI might perpetuate existing situations of social bias and discrimination.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI poses an existential danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

If we keep developing the correct regulations on AI and its use, with the appropriate regulations for each applicable domain of AI, the technology will bring mainly prosperity to humanity. In this scenario, the danger of AI will be under control and practically insignificant relative to the technology’s benefits.

What can be done to prevent such concerns from materializing? And what can be done to assure the public that there is nothing to be concerned about?

It is primarily a question of the correct regulations that, on one hand, will allow us to develop and implement AI in an efficient and free manner, and on the other hand, will not allow harmful uses of AI.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

In Magentiq Eye, half of our employees, and specifically half of our R&D employees, are women. As a result, the company is efficient, diverse opinions are heard and considered, and employees are dedicated to the company mission. It is essential that employers recognize women’s contributions to AI.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Believe in what you are doing and go with your beliefs.” My experience has shown me that when you are doing what you believe in, it is a sign that you are doing the right thing.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

I am proud that Magentiq Eye is making an impact in cancer disease prevention.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would try to bring adequate healthcare all over the world. I believe that inequality in accessing healthcare across different regions and countries in the world is one of the most important problems to solve to improve life on the planet.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow me on LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.

The interview was originally posted on