Error, Nonlinearity, Incompletness
This year’s Digital Festival Zurich provided the stage for a special session “Heath’s Digital Future”, organized by ETH Zurich, and chaired by Shalini Trefzer. RETHINK director Gisbert Schneider discussed the opportunities and limitations of drug design with artificial intelligence (AI). According to Schneider, the world of chemistry is largely based on explicit knowledge as encoded in written text, molecular models, and in the formulation of underlying physical principles. Medicinal chemistry, and in particular drug design, faces a particularly challenging situation which, to date, has precluded the possibility of exhaustive problem representation using chemical terminology. The systemic pharmacological effect of a drug is governed by poorly defined, and highly-nonlinear, relationships between many contributing factors, leading to often unpredictable system behavior. In other words, medicinal chemists work ‘at the edge of chaos’ – with or without AI. Read more about this.