The idea of artificial intelligence becoming an integrated part of our daily lives is something that is often treated with fear and mistrust. Many people fear that robot technology could result in a huge reduction in human-powered workload, or even that the human race could be completely wiped out by AI beings of superior intelligence. Yet the huge benefits that artificial intelligence could bring are often overlooked, especially in the fight against outbreaks such as the coronavirus.
AI leads the way
Very recently, AI was used by scientists in MIT as a key proponent in the creation of a new antibiotic intended for use in the fight against the E.coli bacteria. Such news is extremely promising for scientists working to combat potentially killer viruses. The artificial intelligence was used to locate precise antibiotic molecules resistant to a strain of E. coli.
The molecules were pinpointed after researchers instructed the AI to search through extensive collections of more than 100 million chemical compounds. Indeed, as previously reported by Venturebeat, AI was used in a similar way in the battle against HIV, when scientists discovered that statistical modelling could significantly reduce new infection rates. Such research suggests that AI’s role in future breakthroughs in the fight against disease could be extremely beneficial for medical science.
Central to the discovery of bacteria-resistant antibiotics is the need for them to be safe for human consumption. This is where the role of human beings is necessary, often in the form of paid medical trials. These carefully regulated paid medical trials are integral in ensuring newly researched drugs can be used to fight dangerous diseases. In order for this to happen, healthy volunteers test out new drugs in a hospital setting. Those taking part in the trial are carefully monitored and tested throughout the trial.
What do volunteers have to do?
Usually, once volunteers have taken the medicine, they are monitored to see the effect the drug has on their body. They are checked for interactions, side effects and the length of time the drug takes to be absorbed. Safety and volunteer wellbeing are paramount throughout the trial. Medical trials are essential in ensuring scientists and doctors, along with AI, can continue the battle against potentially deadly viruses and illnesses.