The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recently announced funding for the largest life science computing system in the world.
The goal is to help scientists and researchers utilize AI to map healthy and diseased cells in humans.
While the technology exists to map individual cells, the massive amount of data necessary to look at all types of cells and to make predictions about them requires something more.
Applying AI to large data sets in life sciences allows huge leaps in knowledge, helping understand, model, and predict how different cell types will react.
Last year Deep Mind announced that it utilized an AI modeling tool called AlphaFold to predict nearly all possible proteins based on the small set of proteins that had been mapped by scientists in the lab.
It took 50 years of lab time to map 100,000 proteins, and AlphaFold mapped the remaining 200 million in five years.
Now the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is helping to fund a huge processing farm that can be used to create an open-source cell catalog called The Human Cell Atlas.
Individual research institutions could never afford to build their own data processing engine for this purpose.
“Bringing the power of generative AI to biology at scale will allow researchers to incorporate these technological advances into their work, which will accelerate efforts to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases,” said CZI Co-founder and Co-CEO Priscilla Chan.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a philanthropic organization founded in 2015 by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan who have dedicated 99% of Zuckerberg’s fortune to funding initiatives in Science, Education, Justice, and Opportunity.