Superfast Artificial Intelligence Chips Will Help Make Better Cancer Drugs


At Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, scientists develop a giant chip that can help make precision cancer drugs

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:
AI chips

AI has turned the tables in scientific discovery and acted as a catalyst for key processes, said Argonne laboratories. Heavy-database algorithms are the best for quickly finding patterns in reams (500 sheets) of data. The computer which houses the world’s largest chip is part of a new generation of specialised AI hardware that is being put to use only now. A hardware revolution is just around the corner, they believe.

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Rick Stevens, Argonne’s associate lab director for computing, environment, and life sciences told a notable technology website that they are looking for AI chips that work 1,000 times faster than graphical processing units (GPU). 

Argonne was initially testing the computer on cancer-based research. Their goal is to develop a model that can predict how a tumour is going to react to a drug or combination of drugs. The model can then be used in two ways: to develop new drug candidates that could have desired effects on a specific tumour, or to predict the effects of a single drug candidate on many different types of tumours.

Stevens is expecting dramatic results from the Cerebras' system (AI computer) to speed up the development of the cancer drug model, along with possibly training the model hundreds of thousands of times and running it billions more times to predict how each candidate reacts to drugs.

He also hopes it will boost the lab’s research on other topics, such as battery materials and traumatic brain injury. For battery-related research, the study would involve developing an AI model for predicting the properties of millions of molecular combinations to find alternatives to using lithium-ion chemistry. For traumatic brain injury, they will work on developing a model to predict the best treatment options for the same. It is a hard task because it requires processing so many types of data - brain images, biomarkers, text etc., very speedily. 

Stevens is excited by the potential that the combination of AI software and hardware advancements will bring mankind to a new stand.

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