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BenevolentAI Launches Award to Speed up AI-driven Medical Research


BenevolentAI has launched a new award for medical research

UK Artificial Intelligence company BenevolentAI has launched a new award to help non-profits and charities use AI to speed up their medical research and create new therapies.

Created in partnership with the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) , the award will be granted every year to one applicant charity, which will get access to BenevolentAI’s technology in order to tackle the challenge it is dealing with— for example, investigating a certain disease, driving forward new lines of research, or developing novel cures and treatments.

Founded in 2013 London-based BenevolentAI has created an AI system able to sift through research data and return relevant insight on how a given disease is currently treated, also providing suggestions for possible lines of inquiry.  BenevolentAI’s computerised research assistant can also work out interactions and sides effects of a candidate substance, and recommend alternative molecules with similar properties.

Applications for the Award opened on Monday 13 November, and they can be submitted until 31 January 2018; they will be judged by Jackie Hunter, CEO of BenevolentAI subsidiary BenevolentBio, and AMRC CEO Aisling Burnand. They will announce the winner in March.

“Most scientific breakthroughs are made by analysing data, but we live in a world where vast quantities of data make the discovery of new drugs and treatments for disease very difficult,” Hunter said in a statement. “We use AI to solve this issue and want to offer medical research charities the chance to benefit from the successes we have had a a company in developing, validating and commercialising this technology.”

AMRC CEO Aisling Burnand also commented on the new award: “Getting new treatments to people affected by life threatening and life limiting illnesses is of paramount importance to medical research charities.”

“The opportunity to have BenevolentAI work on a project for one of our members for a year is a very exciting prospect which could give that research process a huge kick start.”

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