We have figured out how to write to the genome using DNA editing, but we don't know what the outcomes of genetic modifications will be. This is called the "genotype-phenotype gap". To close the gap, we need to reverse-engineer the genetic code, which is very hard because biology is too complicated and noisy for human interpretation. Machine learning and super-human AI are needed. The data? Six billion letters per genome, hundreds of thousands of biomolecules, hundreds of cell types, over six billion people on the planet. A new generation of "Bio-AI" researchers are poised to crack the problem, but we face extraordinary challenges. I'll discuss these challenges, focusing on which branches of AI will have the most impact and why.
Brendan Frey is internationally recognized as a leader in machine learning and genome biology. His group has published over a dozen papers in Science, Nature and Cell, and their most recent work on using deep learning to identify protein-DNA interactions was highlighted on the front cover Nature Biotechnology. Frey is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has consulted for several industrial research and development laboratories in Canada, the United States and England, and has served on the Technical Advisory Board of Microsoft Research. Most recently, Dr. Frey spun out a company called Deep Genomics.