Researchers at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia (UBC) and other universities have trained a computer to predict the molecular structure of new drugs.
“There is an entire world of chemical ‘dark matter’ just beyond our fingertips right now. I think there is a huge opportunity for the right AI tools to shine a light on this unknown chemical world,” says Dr. Michael Skinnider in a press release. He completed the research as a doctoral student at UBC.
Using data collected from around the world on illicit drugs, researchers trained the computer to come up with new drugs that hadn’t been created yet, but that would fit the parameters. It came up with 8.9 million different chemical designs.
BIIIITCH! 8.9 Million!? The researchers apparently compared 196 newly created designer drugs, that didn’t exist when the computer was initially programmed, with those it had come up with, the computer, a deep neural network, had come up with… wait for it… more than 175 of the drugs already.
“The fact that we can predict what designer drugs are likely to emerge on the market before they actually appear is a bit like the 2002 sci-fi movie, Minority Report, where foreknowledge about criminal activities about to take place helped significantly reduce crime in a future world,” explains the University of Alberta’s Dr. David Wishart, who was the senior author on the research paper.
Well there you have it, OMG! Something to look forward to for your future days of celebration!