Alphabet creates DeepMind offshoot focused on using AI for drug discovery | ZDNet

Alphabet has created a new subsidiary called Isomorphic Labs that will focus on using AI processes to develop new drugs.

A branch of Deepmind, another Alphabet AI subsidiary, the idea for Isomorphic Labs came about after Deepmind’s AlphaFold 2 AI system solved a 50-year-old protein folding challenge by predicting the 3D structure of a protein directly. from its amino acid sequence at the atomic level. precision.

Following this breakthrough, Deepmind and Isomorphic Labs founder and CEO Demis Hassabis said he now believes that artificial intelligence techniques and methods have become powerful and sophisticated enough to be applied to real-world problems, including discovery. scientist itself.

in a blog post, Hassabis said the company’s mission would be to “reimagine the entire drug discovery process from scratch with an AI focus first … and ultimately find cures for some of humanity’s most devastating diseases.”

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“The pandemic has highlighted the vital work that brilliant scientists and doctors do every day to understand and fight disease. We believe that the fundamental use of cutting-edge computing and artificial intelligence methods can help scientists carry their work to the next level, and greatly accelerate the drug discovery process, “Hassabis said.

During the initial phase of Isomorphic Lab’s operations, Hassabis will be its CEO to help facilitate collaboration between the new subsidiary and Deepmind. He added that this would also help establish Isomorphic Labs’ strategy, vision and culture.

The company is currently looking to hire people with backgrounds in artificial intelligence, biology, medical chemistry, biophysics, and engineering.

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