Why do we exist?
A message from our co-founder – Richard Lumb PhD
Co-founder of Access AI Richard Lumb
In 2009 I lost my father to mesothelioma, a cancer commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. After finding out about the genetic influence of that disease, I launched Front Line Genomics, a media business with a mission to deliver the benefits of genomics to people faster.
Buoyed by support from the genomics community and guided by the principle of free education for genomics practitioners, Front Line Genomics is now a thriving social business. The business operates three large genomics ‘festivals’ in the USA and the UK, a genomics-focused website, a print and digital magazine and a suite of educational e-books.
In 2015 I was moved by several conversations with tech companies (including Google, IBM and Microsoft) involved in genomics on the potential for AI-based technology to interrogate large genomic datasets. Starting with those initial connections, my co-founder (Freddy White) and I started to explore and appreciate the incredible potential of AI technologies to accelerate progress in every industry, not just healthcare.
In 2016 we realised that market conditions were right to launch Access AI. Interest in AI had developed into an appetite from businesses to seriously explore and buy AI solutions. Investment in AI was accelerating, and there was a growing unfulfilled need to educate businesses about AI technologies and help connect them with the right partners.
I’m excited by the potential of AI to uncover new insights and accelerate advances in business. However, I’m principally motivated by the potential for AI technologies to change society for the better – to transform healthcare, alleviate poverty and make smarter economic and political decisions. I’m mindful of the ethical considerations, but I think that if we can navigate these effectively, AI will be an incredible social leveller.
So, while our current focus is business, our future plans at Access AI include developing a much better understanding of the impact of AI, narrow and broad, in the wider world.