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AI Science

Machine Learning Spots Treasure Trove of Elusive Viruses (nature.com) 28

Artificial intelligence could speed up metagenomic studies that look for species unknown to science. From a report: Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover nearly 6,000 previously unknown species of virus. The work illustrates an emerging tool for exploring the enormous, largely unknown diversity of viruses on Earth. Although viruses influence everything from human health to the degradation of trash, they are hard to study. Scientists cannot grow most viruses in the lab, and attempts to identify their genetic sequences are often thwarted because their genomes are tiny and evolve fast.

For the latest study, Simon Roux, a computational biologist at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in Walnut Creek, California, trained computers to identify the genetic sequences of viruses from one unusual family, Inoviridae. These viruses live in bacteria and alter their host's behaviour: for instance, they make the bacteria that cause cholera, Vibrio cholerae, more toxic. But Roux, who presented his work at the meeting in San Francisco, California, organized by the JGI, estimates that fewer than 100 species had been identified before his research began. Roux presented a machine-learning algorithm with two sets of data -- one containing 805 genomic sequences from known Inoviridae, and another with about 2,000 sequences from bacteria and other types of virus -- so that the algorithm could find ways of distinguishing between them.

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Machine Learning Spots Treasure Trove of Elusive Viruses

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  • Between Humans, AI, and Viruses?
    • Grab your partner dosie-do!

      What's intelligence? Here we GO!

  • Looks like someone beat me to the punch at bring up the question of "AI" or pseudo intelligence.

    Many smart people are shouting the dangers of AI at the moment when we couldn't be further from it. First of all your have to define what intelligence is with whom you start having a discussion first. For instance an I.Q. test can easily be passed by a knowledge engine with a high score but it's hardly a "mind".

    To me a "mind" is one that is capable of doing all the things a human mind can do. A human mind is capa

    • It's 'per se', not 'per say'.

    • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )

      There is no skynet.

      Don't tell the British army.

    • If we're going to go that far to create wetware interfaces, then general AI would also be a natural byproduct of understanding the processes of how the mind and human biology works.

      We wouldn't even necessarily have to understand how general AI works exactly or why, only the processes used to create it. At first it won't be a threat, but eventually it would be weaponized or handled carelessly. The potential is just that great, and our capacity for hubris also is unlimited.

      I think you're correct that our

    • There will be no war with "AI" per say. It will be enhanced "evolving" humans verses natural humans (luddies). There is no skynet.

      You say "Many smart people are shouting the dangers of AI at the moment when we couldn't be further from it." yet imply that full fledged high bandwidth BCIs are somehow around the corner. They're not. Current BCIs are a joke compared to what current AI can do.

      I do think we agree where sentience will end up, but I also believe you overestimate the role organics in general and humans in particular will have in participating in the transition. Let me put it like this: tacking chips onto a human brain is like

  • Take note that th they are not referred to as viri!

  • The existence of such a virus was first hypothesized by the scientist Bertrand Russell.

    This is a very special virus that infects its host, H sapiens. It affects their brain and make them identify the virus strains that compete with it (genus Celestial species teapot) and go on an all out effort to get rid of the competitor. The C teapot virus will occupy the niche vacated by these aggressive treatment, but the brains of the H sapiens it affects will never see it or identify it.

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