In the fascinating context of the World Economic Forum in Davos , Lila Ibrahim, Chief Operating Officer of Google DeepMind, shared with Axios’ Alison Snyder a thought-provoking perspective on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in science.
According to Ibrahim, AI is offering a “completely different understanding of what exists” and is revolutionizing fields such as materials science and biology.
Why is important?
In 2023, Google DeepMind made a significant breakthrough, unveiling its AI tool, GNoME, capable of discovering 2.2 million potential new materials.
This discovery is not only a scientific achievement, but opens the door to revolutionary innovations in areas such as semiconductors, batteries and solar panels.
The company also accelerated computer coding and developed AlphaFold, another AI tool that solved a decades-old biological problem: understanding and predicting the exact shape of proteins, essential for the functioning of all living things.
Ibrahim says he is now “more optimistic” about AI than both last year, when ChatGPT’s arrival dominated the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, and 2018, when it merged with DeepMind.
In 2018, “AlphaFold was just an idea that hadn’t been realized yet,” Ibrahim recalls. Today, however, 200 million proteins are known.
The last year has seen rapid progress in collaboration between AI developers, government and managing the risks associated with the technology.
Ibrahim believes it will be easier to teach young AI users an ethical framework for the technology than older generations, who have become digitalized through the internet and social media.
What awaits us in the future?
According to Ibrahim, it is essential to “work with experts in their fields” to think about how to transform their respective fields. Ibrahim’s recipe for increasing trust in AI includes reaching those left behind by previous technical and economic advances.
In conclusion, Google DeepMind’s approach to AI is not limited to pure technological innovation, but embraces a broader and more inclusive vision, aiming for a future in which AI is a catalyst for accessible and responsible progress for all.