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The Evolution of AI

Proving that machines can outpace human speed and efficiency, Google recently announced that it would be using AI to design computer chips. The job, which would usually take a team months to complete, can be done and dusted within a mere six hours using the AI platform. Though technological feats like this prompt us all to rehash debates about the future job market and equitable access to such technologies, the fact of the matter is that the power of AI is undeniable. And its applications are undoubtedly broad. 

The uptake of AI is growing, and for pharma, this offers the opportunity to enhance not only drug discovery but every aspect of the value chain, right down to product commercialization. But a problem remains; though the industry has access to vast amounts of data, it is often biased and lacking in quality, which can make it difficult to train AI systems. In a recent interview, we spoke to the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare  who explained that data sharing – or a lack thereof – was another challenge for the industry to contend with. 

But the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stimulus for change. Increased collaboration and a faster approach to R&D have been the hallmarks of the industry’s behavior throughout this challenging time. And this has also been reflected in the industry’s collective mindset towards adopting new technology, such as AI, to improve processes. AI has even been used to identify drugs to combat COVID-19. These successes are pushing many to rethink their strategic plans and make AI an essential part of their future operations. 

In the cover feature of our June issue, we take a deep dive into the industry's current use of AI and ask how it will influence the drug development landscape of tomorrow. Check out the articles below. 

Beyond Drug Development

Combining cutting-edge computing power and AI algorithms can significantly accelerate drug discovery by giving scientists a vast chemical space to test hypotheses and identify more effective molecules. Roger Palframan, Head External Innovation and US Discovery at UCB, tells us how AI is making a difference to both the company and patients.

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A More Intelligent Approach

AI has helped inform pharma’s COVID-19 response. But how? We take a deep dive into the industry’s growing reliance on AI systems by speaking with The Pistoia Alliance President, Steve Arlington.

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Culture Shock

Although the uptake of AI is on the rise, management must shift its mindset to ensure that the systems are used efficiently.

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Is There Gold In Them AI Hills?

Although AI has played a significant role in the industry’s rapid drug development program through the crisis, stakeholders in the industry are now looking ahead to determine the role it will play in a post-COVID-19 world. To examine the topic further, we caught up with Jackie Hunter, a board director at the company and a member of The Medicine Maker 2021 Power List, who shared her views on the future applications of AI in pharma with us.

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