Will Artificial Intelligence Help Crack Biology?

Will Artificial Intelligence Help Crack Biology?
AP Photo/IBM, File

More and more people and firms believe that AI is well placed to help unpick biology and advance human health. Indeed, as Chris Bishop of Microsoft Research, in Cambridge, England, observes, one way of thinking about living organisms is to recognise that they are, in essence, complex systems which process information using a combination of hardware and software.

That thought has consequences. Whether it is the new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), from the founder of Facebook and his wife, or the biological subsidiaries being set up by firms such as Alphabet (Google's parent company), IBM and Microsoft, the new Big Idea in Silicon Valley is that in the squidgy worlds of biology and disease there are problems its software engineers can solve.

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