AI News, From Gene Editing to A.I., How Will Technology Transform Humanity ... artificial intelligence

19 bold predictions for science and technology in 2019

From the debut of a giant rocket and the discovery of an underground lake on Mars to reef-repairing robots and the next steps toward a working hyperloop, the past year has been a momentous one for science and technology.

As we unlock the secrets of the brain’s cellular architecture and its relationship to human capacities, we gain the power to treat psychiatric and neurological diseases as well as physical ones.

If a detailed comparison with mouse brains and genes reveals that our rodent friends have roughly the same number of cell types as we do (I predict they will), it will further support the notion that other animals are conscious, experience life in similar ways that people do and are worthy of our moral consideration.

He serves on the advisory board of NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts program and speaks on topics including artificial intelligence, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and national security.

First versions may be resident on web pages or infest your Alexa, but later ones will be free-floating algorithms or 'blockchain smart-contracts' that take up residence in spare computer memory.

A physician-geneticist, he's noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which in 2003 provided a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.

predict 2019 will be the year when cures of sickle cell disease are reported in dozens of individuals taking part in clinical trials of gene therapy.

Seventy years ago sickle-cell disease was the first identified “molecular disease” — one caused by a DNA 'misspelling' that led to an abnormal hemoglobin protein.

When the sickle cells clump together and get stuck in small blood vessels, they can cause severe pain, anemia, stroke, heart and lung problems, organ failure and early death.

Taking full advantage of quantum physics, together with sophisticated mathematics and powerful computations, scientists can now fully explore the catalog of potential states of matter, going far beyond the familiar forms such as gases, liquids, metals and semiconductors that appear in nature — they can essentially reverse-engineer materials to reflect customizable physical laws.

In light of this year's parade of social media executives through Congress and a string of revelations about abuses, data leaks and democratic manipulation on the platforms, 2019 may be when we start to see the first regulations governing social media.

With a new Congress and inspiration from Europe, I predict there will be early steps toward privacy regulation and bills to hold social media to existing standards of behavior around elections.

Today’s prosperity is based on the exploitation of nonrenewable resources, on the use of fossil fuels that is overwhelming the Earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and on increasing inequity in society.

The efficiency of both material and energy use can be massively increased by using networked sensors to exchange data and enable control of processes and operations in real time.

The Event Horizon Telescope will provide a map of the shadow of the event horizon — the boundary of black holes beyond which not even light can escape — of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Meanwhile, observational hints from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array — an array of 66 dish antennas in Chile's Atacama Desert — are starting to reveal the 'feeding' habits of supermassive black holes.

My crystal ball shows a fairy godmother waving her magic wand, giving us adequate levels of food assistance for the poor, delicious and healthy school food for kids, honest food labels that everyone can understand, food so safe that nobody has to worry about it, wages for farm and restaurant workers that they can actually live on, and farmers growing food for people (not so much for animals or cars) in ways that protect and replenish soil and water, reduce greenhouse gases and provide them a decent living.

I cannot get my head around the idea that anyone would object to ensuring that all children get fed the best possible food in schools, that animals should be raised humanely or that crops should be grown sustainably with the least possible harm to the environment.

The year 2019 is also a year of celebration for it wasn’t that long ago when alchemists were trying to make gold from lead — where chemistry was magic and not a science.

Back then, in the early stages of the digital revolution, Weiser forecast that the ultimate evolution of technology was for it to 'recede into the background of our lives,” ushering in an age of “calm technology.” In the last 10 years, something has stood in the way of this Weiserian world: smartphones.

It's not out of the question that the combination of greenhouse gas-contributed warming and El Nino — a warming of waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean — could make 2019 Earth’s warmest year of the record-keeping era.

Sadly, I also predict that scientifically illiterate statements like “climate change is not real” will continue to be uttered or “tweeted” when there is a cold day in a tiny part of the globe.

The usual explanation — that these highly energetic phenomena are the result of the dramatic collision of black holes, neutron stars or other cosmic exotica — is belied by one FRB for which the bursts occur over and over.

But my expectation is that the growing list of discovered FRBs will provide a clever theoretician with enough information to concoct an explanation of their true nature — one that can be confirmed by observation.

How Artificial Intelligence Will Help Transform Personal Health in 2019

Artificial intelligence technology has made great strides in the last decade, with AI models outperforming humans in various tasks, from image recognition to election forecasting to reading comprehension.

The human body is one of the most complex systems on the planet and the healthcare industry naturally follows suit: It is incredibly complex in terms of structure, processes, claims, payment models, methods of care and treatment, providers and stakeholders.

Because our healthcare system is so multifaceted – and thus often cumbersome, inefficient, and prohibitively expensive – it will naturally benefit enormously from optimization – from maximizing individual well-being to streamlining processes and procedures.

Add these and many other data sets to the streamlined access doctors and medical facilities have to previously siloed medical information, and it is easy to comprehend why scientists, doctors, and health administrators and digital health entrepreneurs alike are dazzled by the prospects of this new era of medical data.

As we attain a greater understanding of our bodies and how they interact with our natural and social environments, we will be able to tailor healthcare and wellness treatment – both in the clinic and in everyday life – to our own unique needs as individuals.

Within the next decade, we can expect personalized food (our foods may even be created by 3D printing one day, specifically tailored to our personalized nutritional needs), personalized medications, personalized supplements, and personalized exercise and lifestyle plans to become commonplace.

02 / The AI Race

Applying AI to therapeutic modalities such as gene editing can also augment the drug development process by enhancing key drug characteristics as tech companies become increasingly important to biotech-AI endeavors.

Indeed, the rise of precision medicine, leveraged by AI, could ultimately decrease the societal economic burden of medical treatment by diagnosing patients earlier, reducing the number of failed medications a patient cycles through, choosing safer more effective medications for a patient’s specific disease, and disease prevention through improved diagnostics.

Artificial Intelligence Is the Next Big Player in Genomics

Using advanced CRISPR technology, Scientist Jiankui He 'announced that twin girls with an edited gene that reduces the risk of contracting HIV “came crying into this world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago.”' The announcement was met with great backlash, sparking ‘outrage from many researchers and ethicists who say implanting edited embryos to create babies is premature and exposes the children to unnecessary health risks.

Biospace formerly reported on KSQ Therapeutics’ “$80 million Series C financing that will be put towards the development of oncology drug candidates via CRISPRomics™, a drug discovery engine that creates insights specific to individual human genes on an industrial scale.” The rapid advancement of CRISPR capability does not end here, however.

With this insight, they can make decisions about care, what an organism might be susceptible to in the future, what mutations might cause different diseases and how to prepare for the future.” Multiple aspects of human life are determined by an individual's genetics, including predispositions to illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, sickle cell anemia, and others.

For example, the company Deep Genomics is analyzing genomic data using deep learning – the process by which a computer integrates a very large amount of data and then, based on its learning techniques drawn from analyzing other datasets, interprets that new information.

Another advantage AI systems could bring to clinical research is to process simultaneously huge amounts of genomic, physiological, health, environmental and lifestyle data, meaning these systems would read the content of our genomes, our smartphones and our medical records, and draw inferences [sic] about what they have learned.

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