At the end of 2018, at a biology conference and competition known as Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction, Alphabet’s London-based AI subsidiary DeepMind made an incredible showing of its ability to infer the physical structure of proteins based on their genetic code. DeepMind’s AI, AlphaFold, won the competition, making the best predictions in 43 out of 90 tests. The company had never participated in the conference before.
While impressive, the technology wasn’t yet capable of replacing the existing expensive and time-consuming experimental methods for determining what these proteins look like. However, its latest software comes close.
In November, AlphaFold again outperformed all the other competing groups at CASP. The technology solved protein structures other labs had been working on for years. Scientists think the technology could have immense implications for the way proteins are studied.
DeepMind is still in the process of validating its latest technology. But…