>> Artificial intelligence is turbocharging the search for drugs to treat Motor Neuron, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. There is no cure for the condition, which attacks and kills nerve cells controlling muscles. Just two medicines are approved. Scientists in the United States and in Sheffield, Northern England, are using supercomputers to analyze vast databases and reams of scientific papers, To find connections, and help propose drugs.
Reuters' Ben Hirschler says AI offers a shortcut to treatment for the disease, who's scientific name is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.>> ALS is a really interesting disease to test this new technology on. There's a huge unmet need, it's a terrible condition. Most people die within a few years of getting it, and it's a really nasty death as well.
But at the same time there is a growing volume of genetic information about ALS and scientists also have good models to test it, both in test tubes and in animals. Scientist in Arizona have identified five new genes using an IBM super computer. While the shock field team has found the drug candidate that hoping to move to trial.
Many small startups are now investing in artificial intelligence for health and peak farmer is getting on board too.>> We've seen quite a few deals now between some of the small startup companies>> And large pharmaceutical companies. And at the same time we're seeing the big tech companies increasingly investing in life science research.
So you've now got Microsoft and IBM and Google. They're all getting really interested in what their computing technology can bring to bear on solving some of this really difficult to treat diseases.>> The machines won't replace scientist and clinicians but the hope is that they can do some of the leg work.
Good news then for Sufferers like Scientist Steven Hawking.>> I am happy to see I am here>> A rare example of someone living for decades with motor neuron disease.