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AR-BIC Conference Focusing on Artificial Intelligence in Arkansas

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by Tyler Hale

Artificial intelligence researchers will be gathering in North Little Rock in February to attend the 6th annual Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium (AR-BIC) Conference, exploring the artificial intelligence research and applications occurring in Arkansas.

Composed of major research universities, including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and government organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research, the Arkansas Bioinformatics Consortium explores a range of topics, including artificial intelligence

This year’s conference will be held February 10-11 at the Wyndham Riverfront Little Rock in North Little Rock.

On Monday, Feb. 10, Arkansas Research Alliance Jerry Adams will provide brief opening remarks at 1 p.m. before the first panel – an introduction to artificial intelligence – begins. In this first panel, experts will provide a groundwork for AI, as well as the use of AI for text mining and imaging analysis.

At 4 p.m., Balakrishnan Prabhakaran will present a keynote on artificial intelligence entitled “Artificial Intelligence: A Perspective from the National Science Foundation.” Prabhakaran is a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas, who specializes in multimedia systems and telemedicine.

On the second day, there will be a series of sessions. The first, chaired by Doug Hutchings and Bryan Barnhouse, will be entitled “ARA Academy on AI.” It will feature four ARA members, discussing a range of AI-related topics. UAMS’ Keith Bush will discuss “AI for the Brain,” NCTR’s Weida Tong will speak on “FDA Efforts on ML for Genomic Biomarker, and ASU’ Xiuzhen Huang will discuss “Biomedical Imaging Segmentation.” Justin Zhan of the University of Arkansas will present on data bridges and AI deep learning.

The second session will focus on imaging and radiomics. This session is co-chaired by Douglas Rhoads of the University of Arkansas and Fred Prior of UAMS. In the third session, participants will focus on AI and machine learning in biomedical research. The presentations will include topics such as advances in neural AI, AI for drug design and more.

There will also be a poster competition during the conference in two categories: undergraduate/graduate and post-doctoral. The prizes will be $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place. The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, Jan. 24.

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