As doctors and researchers develop new antimicrobial substances that can be applied in health care solutions, scientific translations are vital to making these discoveries accessible in global settings. What if it was not doctors and researchers, though, and instead an artificial intelligence generating these kinds of insights? If the answer has to do with where these insights can be applied, it may be a telling case in the broader question of how AI will continue to reshape industries and generate new opportunities and challenges for global communications.
The global pandemic brought health-related AI to the forefront, and we have already seen how algorithms can facilitate global COVID-19 research, as well as help solve the protein-folding problem. Now, reports that IBM Research has used a deep generative model to develop an assortment of candidate compounds to fight fungal and bacterial pathogens reveal yet another front on which AI is upending how and by whom innovation is conducted. Beyond its specific context, IBM’s breakthrough is also blurring the lines between technological communications and medical communications, which as a more general trend could make technical scientific translations more important to delivering medical solutions across borders.
The issue of antibiotic resistance has gained pressing importance, with the current pandemic helping to draw attention to the scale of the need for novel antibiotics to replace known drug designs as microbial threats evolve. As IBM Research notes in its announcement, “drug design is an extremely difficult and lengthy process — there are more possible chemical combinations of a new molecule than there are atoms in the Universe.” With AI analysis, the vastness of the data associated with a problem tends not to factor in the difficulty of solving it, as automated computation at the speed of electricity can make swift work of the countless pathways and variables of scientific possibility. Of the twenty candidate compounds IBM’s model generated following a 48-day end-to-end effort, two have already shown strong potential in studies with antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
As AI reshapes the entire concept of information, its breakthroughs entail fundamental changes in how data and knowledge flow through all stages of the research, development, and distribution of innovative solutions. From AI and technology to the life sciences, CSOFT’s scientific translation services can help meet the evolving needs of companies and organizations in communicating with partners, stakeholders, and customers in more than 250 languages. Learn more at csoftintl.com!