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  • 🐈 AlphaFold's first drug discovery πŸš€

🐈 AlphaFold's first drug discovery πŸš€

PLUS: FBI chief wary of China's AI, generative AI in Instagram

Good morning! This is The Neuron. We'll be at the Scale AI hackathon tomorrow in San Francisco. Hit reply if you'll also be there!

Today in AI:

  • AlphaFold Notches Its First Drug Discovery Win

  • China's AI Worries FBI Director

  • AI-Generated Image Filters In Instagram?

  • Around the Horn

  • Leo Sends His Regards

AlphaFold Notches Its First Drug Discovery Win

1.5 years from first release to first drug design credits.

First, protein folding: You need to know a protein's structure before you can make medicine that targets that protein. That's really hard to do.

Both a protein as well as my earbuds when I pull them out of my pocket

In July 2021, Google subsidiary DeepMind released AlphaFold 2, an AI model that was very, very good at predicting these structures. Then, they ran AlphaFold against all 200 million+ proteins that we know of and published the structure predictions in July 2022.

We're now 6 months from the database, and researchers just announced that AlphaFold helped them develop a new liver cancer molecule.

It was a three-part system:

  1. One system found a new protein that could relate to liver cancer

  2. AlphaFold predicted that protein's structure

  3. A third designed the molecule

They then made the molecule and tested it.

The power of computers: It only took 30 daysΒ to go from finding the protein to the results. So they took another 30 days to do it again and found an even better molecule on the second turn.

The AlphaFold unlock permanently accelerated medicine and biotech. Much, much more news like this on the horizon.

China's AI Worries FBI Director

The US-China relationship in AI is weird.

At Davos, FBI Director Christopher Wray said he's "deeply concerned" about China's AI capabilities.

He's not alone. Many US government officials have said that China's rapid development of AI is a risk: war, ethics, etc.

But the US and China are intertwined in complicated ways when it comes to AI:

  • Chinese AI researchers study and work in the US. 54% of top-tier Chinese researchers come to the US vs. 32% staying in China.

  • Big Tech has AI research labs in China. Bill Gates himself led Microsoft's research expansion to China in 1998. That lab is seen as one of the most significant boosts to China's AI.

  • Chinese and American researchers collaborate a lot. The US is China's top AI research collaborator, and vice versa. Chinese researchers are co-authors in 15% of all US AI papers.

What to do? It's a hot discussion:

  • Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang suggestsΒ connecting military data sources to defense AI, investing 25% of Defense budget in AI and rapidly training military on AI.

  • The Brookings Institution suggestsΒ bringing more Chinese talent to the US, carefully choosing who the US collaborates with on research and closely advising those American research labs based in China.

AI-Generated Image Filters In Instagram?

Any guesses what this will look like?

Also from Davos, Meta's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said generative AI could help create image filters for Instagram.

Potentially related: a couple days ago, Meta and Shutterstock signed a deal that will let Meta train its AI models on Shutterstock's content.

No more details, so we'll have to wait. One simple idea is to let you take/upload a photo to Instagram, then give you pre-defined styles to edit you/the background in.

Around the Horn

  • AI-generated game asset platform Scenario raises $6 million.

  • Hippocratic AI: a search tool for peer-reviewed medical knowledge.

  • Online ordering software provider Lunchbox want to let restaurants generate menu pictures using AI

  • Writer.com releases a tool that lets you drop in links; e.g., "Write me a cold email about this company: [link]"

  • Perplexity: conversation-driven search engine

  • Promptable: a tool for prompt engineers in the making

  • A great read from Andreessen Horowitz outlining who could make money in AI and why they don't see anyone really doing it so far.

  • 30: the percent of professionals that have tried using ChatGPT at work.

  • How AI-generated images have evolved over the last 8 years.

DM me links on Twitter: @nonmayorpete

Are you new to all this AI stuff? Here's The 3-Minute Guide to Slaying Your Dinner Convo About AI to get you up to speed. Or at least smart enough to impress your family.

Leo Sends His Regards

That's all we have for today. See you cool cats on Twitter if you're there: @nonmayorpete

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