AlphaFold Is The Most Important Achievement In AI--Ever


DeepMind's AlphaFold represents the first time a significant scientific problem has been solved by ... [ ] AI. It can be difficult to distinguish between substance and hype in the field of artificial intelligence. In order to stay grounded, it is important to step back from time to time and ask a simple question: what has AI actually accomplished or enabled that makes a difference in the real world? This summer, DeepMind delivered the strongest answer yet to that question in the decades-long history of AI research: AlphaFold, a software platform that will revolutionize our understanding of biology. In 1972, in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Christian Anfinsen made a historic prediction: it should in principle be possible to determine a protein's three-dimensional shape based solely on the one-dimensional string of molecules that comprise it. Finding a solution to this puzzle, known as the "protein folding problem," has stood as a grand challenge in the field of biology for half a century.

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