Interview with Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong: Forging a “Cognitive Revolution”

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a surgeon, drug developer, entrepreneur and the richest man in American medicine. Since selling the company that makes his breakthrough cancer drug Abraxane in 2010, he has been developing and expanding NantWorks, an LA-based medical technology company with implications far beyond medicine.

We’re on the NantWorks campus in Culver City. Can you explain what you are developing here?

I started this concept in 2005. It dawned on me that the world has not prepared itself for the convergence of supercomputing, cloud computing, machine vision and artificial intelligence.

What we’re doing here is converging what I think is the next revolution of mankind. We’ve had the industrial revolution, and we’ve had mechanical and energy improvements. I think we’ve now reached a stage of enlightenment where technology will allow mankind to evolve to this era of cognitive power. A cognitive revolution will bring the wisdom of the Internet and what we know as mankind to somebody as they’re interacting with the real world.

NantWorks is a company to figure out how we’re going to transform using the convergence of huge technology in how we work, live and play. Imagine if da Vinci – an engineer, an artist –- had the supercomputer in his hands, instead of a quill. That’s what NantWorks is about.

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