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Artificial Intelligence Designed drug to be tested on humans
A drug designed entirely by artificial intelligence is about to enter clinical human trials for the first time.
The drug, which is intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, was discovered using AI systems from Oxford-based biotech company Exscientia. The drug, known as DSP-1181, was created by using algorithms to sift through potential compounds, checking them against a huge database of parameters, including a patient’s genetic factors. Speaking to the BBC, Exscientia chief executive Professor Andrew Hopkins described the trials as a «key milestone in drug discovery» and noted that there are «billions» of decisions needed to find the right molecules for a drug, making their eventual creation a «huge decision.» With AI, however, «the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease».
But the AI-created drugs do pose some pertinent questions. Will patients be comfortable taking medication designed by a machine? How will these drugs differ from those developed by humans alone? Who will make the rules for the use of AI in drug research? Hopkins and his team hope that these and myriad other questions will be explored in the trials, which will begin in March.
Read the full article by Rachel England