For the past century, progress in medicine has been driven by the discovery of narrow, focused treatments for acute illnesses. Although this approach initially yielded spectacular results, medical progress has, in recent years, begun to slow, indicating the need for a new paradigm. This is because the most prevalent causes of death and illness are no longer simple diseases caused by infection or dysfunction in a single gene. Instead, the diseases faced by modern society are the result of complex interactions between networks of genes, cells, organs or even people. A new, systems-based approach is needed, but this will require gathering and analyzing unprecedented amounts of data. A task of this magnitude and difficulty would, in past eras, be impossible. However, the imminent development of smarter-than-human artificial intelligence will make this previously inconceivable process a reality. By taking advantage of this emerging area of research, The Cure is Now aims to develop novel treatments and cures for previously untreatable illnesses.
Narrow Artificial Intelligence
Great advances in narrow artificial intelligence have been made in the past decades. First, computers mastered checkers. Then, computers became better than humans at chess. Now, computers are even capable of answering trivia questions on game shows. There is great potential for this technology to be applied to medicine. For example, a doctor could input a patient’s symptoms into a computer, which would suggest possible diseases that the doctor might not have considered. Or, scientists could use computers to figure out results from experiments, allowing humans to spend more time on advanced analysis.
Alexander D. Wissner-Gross conducts research in artificial intelligence on a massive scale. His recent research project includes a planetary scale computing model for electronic trading.
Artificial General Intelligence
Artificial general intelligence would entail the creation of a computer-based intelligence at least as smart as a human. The benefits of the this achievement would be twofold: first, as a peer with whom people could consult; second, the accomplishment of this goal would give great insight into what allows us to think and comprehend.
Dr. Itamar Arel is working on pushing the edge of Artificial General Intelligence forward. Click here to learn more about Dr. Arel’s research projects.
Ben Goertzel conducts research in artificial intelligence and uses patterns and models of how humans think and applies them to computer learning programs. Click here to lean more about Ben Goertzel’s research projects.
The brain is composed of many simple parts, but together they form the most complex entity in the world: the human mind. What is consciousness? What makes thinking possible? What enables us to be sentient? These are the fundamental questions of the brain.
Jeff Lieberman, co-host of Discovery Channel’s Time Warp is currently conducting research in in consciousness. Lieberman explores the connections between the arts, sciences, education, passion, creativity, and the potential future of human consciousness.
A major limit on medicine is the accuracy and stamina of human workers. A human can only spend a few hours working before having to rest, and if the task is repetitive, they are likely to make mistakes. A robot, by contrast, can work all day with perfect accuracy. Therefore, robotics can be used to perform many tedious parts of research, while at the same time making the process more efficient. In addition, humans have imperfect perception and are not always precise. Robotics can be used, for example, in surgery, eliminating the possibility of errors and mistakes.