BenevolentAI first to integrate deep learning supercomputer

UK artificial intelligence company BenevolentAI has become the first European company to use a deep learning supercomputer to assist the drug discovery process.

The DGX-1 supercomputer, developed by American technology giant NVIDIA, is the world’s most advanced deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer currently available.

Now, the DGX-1 will be used by the BenevolentAI to support the company’s current AI technology called the Judgment Augmented Correlation System (JACS) to accelerate the discovery of insights into new therapeutics.

BenevolentAI’s JACS system uses deep learning algorithms and natural language processing to analyse masses of scientific articles and scientific databases to create biological insights, in turn accelerating the drug discovery process.

“There are 10,000 updates per day on PubMed alone, presenting an impossible challenge to scientists to keep up with the rate at which new scientific knowledge is produced,” said Ken Mulvany, co-founder and director of BenevolentAI. “This new AI supercomputer will boost our processing power and accelerate the creation of new relationships amongst disparate information sources to yield faster scientific innovation. For the current application of our AI technology in the bioscience space, it will mean that new drug discoveries can be made faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

The addition of a deep learning supercomputer to BenevolentAI’s arsenal helps to establish the company in the burgeoning AI-pharmaceutical market.

The company recently recruited Jérôme Pesenti, formerly of IBM, where he served as vice president of Watson Core Technology for just over two years. The company has also reportedly made a deal with a US pharmaceutical company for two Alzheimer’s targets worth an estimated $800 million.

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly investing in AI as a tool for drug discovery drug. Some are using the technology in a similar way to Benevolent, such as Massachusetts-based BERG Health which use AI to create cell process maps and identify drug targets.

Other companies, such as tech giant IBM, are using AI to improve the drug-to-patient pathway. Its Watson for Oncology platform gathers information about available drug candidates to doctors to help improve treatment decisions.

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