Google Wants to Do What?

Dr. Andrew Moore explores challenges of applying Big Data to health.

Dr. Andrew Moore explores challenges of applying Big Data to health.

Does it comfort you to know that it took countless hours of human ingenuity and expertise for the Google search engine to return hundreds of thousands of hits for your query about “best digital pens” in only 30-80 milliseconds?

The audience that turned out recently in Lipsett Amphitheater for the first talk in a new series on data science may have needed a search engine simply to decode the language of guest speaker Dr. Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

He spoke of planet scale data systems, entity stores, decorated entities, fact stores, knowledge graphs, the ingestion of unstructured facts and the “architecturing” of big systems. It was a relief to hear him say, “We always need a human-in-theloop to make sure the system isn’t screwing up or hallucinating.”

Moore, who may be presiding over the most esteemed computer science faculty in the United States, is also an émigré from Google; he once served as vice president of engineering at Google Pittsburgh, where he was responsible for the retail segment.

He came to NIH to learn how best to harness burgeoning mountains of medical data so that the public may one day be able to use search engines to get useful information about their health.

In computer parlance, that’s known as query-to-result. “I foresee being able to ask medical questions on behalf of ourselves, our friends and our families,” said Moore.

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‘Feds Feed Families’ Program Exceeds Goal

During the 3-month Feds Feed Families campaign, which ended Oct. 2, NIH staff donated 26,315 pounds of nonperishable food. This exceeded the goal of 20,000 pounds by more than 30 percent.

This is the 5th year NIH has participated in Feds Feed Families, the government-wide food drive designed to provide food to local communities during the summer months. Each year, under Office of Research Services leadership, the program has increased its donation collection to benefit local people in need.

The program has become an NIH community operation. This year, each IC named a representative. In addition, NHGRI, OHR, NIDA and the Clinical Center co-sponsored the campaign, with each group hosting “Fill the Truck” events and helping to promote the program NIH-wide.

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