Deepmind solves 50 year old biology challenge

Deepmind, acquired by Google in 2014 is an UK based based artificial intelligence company and research laboratory. The company made headlines in 2016 after its AlphaGo program beat a human professional Go player Lee Sedol, the world champion, in a five-game match. Deepmind mentions it’s goal to is to combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.

Deepmind’s program, AlphaFold outperformed around 100 other teams in a biennial protein-structure prediction challenge called CASP. CASP, short for Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction was held earlier this year and the results were declared on 30 November.  AlphaFold will be able to predict the structures of proteins and help in drug discovery. 

Identification of a protein structure is very hard. For majority of the proteins, researchers have the sequence of amino acids in the ribbon but not the contorted shape they fold into. With AlphaFold, Deepmind participated in CASP in 2018 and left other competitiors in dust. 

Read more about the actual findings at MIT Technology Review. 


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