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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Zuckerberg's Philanthropy Fuels AI for Life Sciences

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic venture, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has announced plans to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) powered computing system dedicated to life sciences research.

This ambitious project aims to revolutionise the study of human cells and diseases.

The Initiative, founded by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, intends to utilise the computing system to operate openly accessible AI models. AI has already been making waves in the life sciences sector, with platforms like Google DeepMind's AlphaFold predicting protein structures, and Nvidia's RadImageGAN detecting a range of medical conditions.

"Integrating generative AI into biology on a large scale will empower researchers to incorporate these technological advancements into their work. This will expedite efforts to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases," Chan stated.

The AI system will be trained on datasets from the CZ Cell x Gene software tool, resources from the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Network and Chan Zuckerberg Institute for Advanced Biological Imaging, and publicly available data.

This initiative coincides with Meta's aggressive deployment of large language models (LLMs) for businesses. Meta released its latest Llama 2 model in July, offering it free to qualifying businesses. These models, initially aimed at researchers, are part of Meta's strategy to reduce infrastructure costs and maximise the creation of new consumer-facing tools that could attract users to its ad-supported services.

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