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Artificial Intelligence and Chemical and Biological Weapons

  • 7 mths ago

Sometimes reality is a cold slap in the face. Consider, as a particularly salient example, a recently published article concerning the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of chemical and biological weapons (the original publication, in Nature, is behind a paywall, but this link is a copy of the full paper). Anyone unfamiliar with recent innovations in the use of AI to model new drugs will be unpleasantly surprised.

Here’s the background: In the modern pharmaceutical industry, the discovery of new drugs is rapidly becoming easier through the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning systems. As the authors of the article describe their work, they have spent decades “building machine learning models for therapeutic and toxic targets to better assist in the design of new molecules for drug discovery.” 

In other words, computer scientists can use AI systems to model what new beneficial drugs may look like for specifically targeted afflictions and then task the AI to work on discovering possible new drug molecules to use. Those results are then given to the chemists and biologists who synthesize and test the proposed new drugs. 

Given how AI systems work, the benefits in speed and accuracy are significant. As one study put it:

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