XTM International Friday Feeling

The Doctor Is In

Not everyone recognizes the social and economic benefits that Artificial Intelligence brings, but more and more stories are being shared that make those benefits clear.

Today we read that research pioneer DeepMind is applying AI to tackle a range of deadly diseases in the developing world.

Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis are classed as neglected diseases, with no proven treatments. Spread through insect bites, they affect over 20 million people, often in locations with limited medical facilities. Outdated treatments can make the problem worse. DeepMind is approaching it from a different angle, working side by side with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDI) to make a difference.

Research scientists map protein structures to help them understand a disease and plan its treatment. When lives are at risk, time is always of the essence. Results that take researchers years to achieve have been replicated by DeepMind’s AlphaFold program in just a few days. AI analysis is bridging the gaps in our understanding of human biology and turbo-charging research.

It’s saving lives.

Now DeepMind is focusing on neglected areas of research, combating illnesses that prey on particularly vulnerable communities. The AI doctor may not have the bedside manner of its human equivalent, but it works at lightning speed and gets the job done.

XTM’s own AI doctor, Rafał Jaworski, is excited by these developments and sees interesting parallels with the use of AI in language technology.

“I find it particularly pleasing that AI is being used in treatment of neglected diseases. In recent years, AI has also been the driving force in communication with neglected languages. Machine Translation engines support over 16,000 language pairs. MT is now the tool of the market leader and the champion of minority and endangered languages. It’s the microphone that’s helping us speak to the world.”

And Rafał confirms that one particular element of Machine Translation is moving us forward faster than any other:

Natural Language Processing makes previous forms of Machine Translation obsolete. It offers us a level of intuitiveness in machine learning that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago, and like everyone at XTM I’m excited to see where it will take us next.”

Our AI doctors will always need human ingenuity to put the finishing touches to their work, in medical research or language translation. But this Friday let’s celebrate the platforms they are giving us and the problems they are solving. We’re very happy that the AI doctor is in.