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Microsoft Announces a New Global Research Team, AI4Science To Endow the Fifth Paradigm of Scientific Discovery

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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In a bid to tackle important societal challenges, the American tech giant, Microsoft has today announced the launch of a new global team of machine learning, quantum physics, computational chemistry, molecular biology, fluid dynamics, and software engineering experts named AI4Science.

According to the tech giant, the new global team of machine learning, AI4Science aims at empowering the fifth paradigm of scientific discovery through deep learning and transforming the natural sciences.

The fifth paradigm of scientific discovery is one of the most exciting frontiers for both machine learning and the natural sciences. While these emulators have a long way to go before becoming fast, robust, and general-purpose, the potential for real-world impact is clear. The number of small-molecule drug candidates, for example, is estimated to be 1060, while the total number of stable materials is estimated to be around 10180.

Therefore, the firm points out that discovering more efficient ways to explore these vast spaces would transform the ability to discover new substances such as better drugs to treat disease, improved substrates for capturing atmospheric CO2, better batteries, new electrodes for fuel cells to power the hydrogen economy, and a plethora of others.

Accordingly, the new global team in Microsoft Research will be led by Christopher Bishop, a Technical Fellow and the director, of Microsoft Research AI4Science, and stretch around the United Kingdom, China and the Netherlands, to focus on bringing this fifth paradigm to reality.

Speaking on the new development, Kevin Scott, Executive Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft said the new AI4Science is a deeply rooted effort in the firm mission to develop new tools for scientific discovery.

“AI4Science is an effort deeply rooted in Microsoft’s mission, applying the full breadth of our AI capabilities to develop new tools for scientific discovery so that we and others in the scientific community can confront some of humanity’s most important challenges,” Said Kevin Scott. “Microsoft Research has a 30+ year legacy of curiosity and discovery, and I believe that the AI4Science team – spanning geographies and scientific fields – has the potential to yield extraordinary contributions to that legacy.”


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