Friday, April 3, 2009

No Job is Safe, not even those of research scientists.

FTA: A robot scientist that can generate its own hypotheses and run experiments to test them has made its first real scientific discoveries.
Dubbed Adam, the robot is the handiwork of researchers at Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge in the UK. All by itself it discovered new functions for a number of genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, aka brewer's yeast.
Ross King, a computational biologist at Aberystwyth, who leads the project, said that Adam's results were modest, but real. "It's certainly a contribution to knowledge. It would be publishable," he says.

Of note here, the more specialized a task is, the easier it is to automate. Interesting times ahead.

And some more.... this from another article about another lab AI.

FTA: The researchers have taught a computer to find regularities in the natural world that become established laws – yet without any prior scientific knowledge on the part of the computer. They have tested their method, or algorithm, on simple mechanical systems and believe it could be applied to more complex systems ranging from biology to cosmology and be useful in analyzing the mountains of data generated by modern experiments that use electronic data collection.

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