1/ Hello Sarah, could you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Sarah Jean-Gilles, I am 25 years old and I am originally from Martinique.
I am a sportswoman, I practice handball in competition since I was 9 years old.
Concerning my academic background, at the age of 21, I left my native island to pursue my studies in biology.
I entered a master's degree in biology and health at the University of Cergy-Pontoise because my ambition was to work in the research sector. After a very interesting internship in the Inserm U1026 Biotis laboratory specialized in tissue engineering, I realized that I wanted to contribute to innovation in Health and more specifically in the field of medical devices.
In order to enrich my engineering skills, I thus reoriented myself towards the Master in Sciences and Numerical for Health (specialization in Engineering of devices for Health) at the University of Montpellier.
New training, new city, new challenges! Multidisciplinary, I now have many skills that give me an original vision of engineering in health.
Freshly graduated, I took the the decision to anticipate the hiring shortage symptomatic of the health crisis; to take advantage of this complicated year to maximize my skills until the situation calms down.
So I got interested in CentraleDigitalLabLaPlateforme_, a one-year training course co-taught by Ecole Centrale de Marseille and La Plateforme_, whose description had been shared by the person in charge of my master.
Seduced by the teaching modules offered, particularly in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis, I applied even before I graduated.
2/ How did this new adventure come about and why did you choose the Platform?
So I joined the CentraleDigital@LabLaPlateforme_ 2020-21 class last September. After five weeks of intensive classes, I started working on a first project while I was just discovering the basics of programming.
Despite my great capacity to adapt, I had to face the facts: a month and a half to integrate so many new notions was not enough.
So I made the decision in December to switch to the IA School on the recommendation of one of the course leaders.
Even if at the beginning, I experienced this reorientation as a failure, with hindsight, I have no regrets. I am fulfilled because I evolve at my own pace and the active pedagogy makes me very independent in my learning. I learned a lot in seven months and I acquired a lot of skills.
3/ Can you tell us about the projects you have realized?
I realized many projects mobilizing several skills: an algorithm able to solve a sudoku, to implement a system able to predict the price of a car according to different characteristics (year of manufacture, mileage, fuel, transmission mode, ...), a tool able to diagnose the cardiovascular risk of an individual according to different factors (weight, height, sex, glycemia, cholesterol level, physical activity, age,...), a dashboard to study the evolution of the COVID pandemic, an image classifier able to predict the animals appearing on an image.
Currently, in parallel to my internship, I am working on a relational database system.
4/ A message for future learners of the Platform?
Don't be afraid to go to the dark side of the force.
Take advantage of this original way of learning and acquiring skills. An "anti-academic" method, based on an active pedagogy that values autonomous and responsible learning that is inseparable from collaboration and exchange with others.
5/ Can you share with us your feedback as a woman on the AI world ?
It's great and really inspiring. We need to show that we have just as much of a place as the male rim in this industry. I would really like to promote what I see as a future profession to my female colleagues.
As I aspire to become an AI specialist in Healthcare, I hope that the proportion of women in this type of position will increase over the years!
6/ You are doing your internship in the health sector, in a laboratory more precisely.
What links can you make between these 2 fields?
For you, is it essential to associate AI in the health field?
Artificial intelligence finds its place in all fields and particularly in Health.
As you can read in my profile, I am convinced that it is " better predict to cure!".
In this case, the project on which I am currently working aims to develop a tool to help diagnose cerebral palsy patients.
In addition to diagnosis, AI can be used to evaluate the risk for an individual to develop a disease according to predictive factors (age, sex, pathologies, sports activity), to predict its evolution, the epidemiological study of a disease (for example: evolution of the covid pandemic in the world), medical robotics or even numerous applications in surgery. These are just some of the applications of AI, whose potential to revolutionize the health sector is no longer in question.
In my opinion, it is therefore essential to implement AI in the health sector and this issue is all the more relevant in the current health crisis.
Moreover, in our era strongly marked by the digital transition of the sectors and in particular the digitalization of the health system, the application of AI in Health seems obvious to me.
7/ Do you think this training has been beneficial for you?
Totally! My increase in skills since I started in September is more than considerable.
My colleagues and even those around me have noticed my progress and I myself now feel at ease in this field which seemed so inaccessible to me.
It is for me, a very enriching experience both professionally and on a human level.
I met wonderful people (a little nod to "my Rima") who have greatly contributed to my progress and professional development! I would like to thank them all for their support and I express my deepest gratitude to them.
All in all, this experience is without a doubt the biggest challenge I've faced so far.
The beginnings were difficult, getting out of one's comfort zone is never easy but it was worth it!
8/ If you had a message for women who want to get into AI but don't dare, what would it be?
As Beyoncé would say "Let's run the World... of IA!"
Find Sarah on her LinkedIn: https: //www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-jean-gilles/