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How AI is helping solve biological mysteries

ALSO: America's changing views on AI

Read time: under 4 minutes

Welcome back, Superhuman

AI might know us better than we know ourselves. Some LLMs have recently begun uncovering hidden patterns in our cells and genes — potentially ushering in a new age of breakthroughs in biology and medicine.


  • AI unlocks hidden patterns inside genes, proteins, and cells

  • Chart: America’s changing views on AI

  • How to create music with AI

  • The biggest funding deals in AI this week

  • 5 new AI tools to boost your productivity

  • AI Generated Images: Yayoi Kusama’s video game parlor


Today in AI & Tech

Image Credit: @cstanley on X/SpaceX

  • Third Time’s a Charm: On its third attempt, SpaceX successfully launched its Starship rocket into outer space, getting one step closer to Elon Musk’s goal of bringing about a “multi-planetary” future.

  • Mnuchin Moves: Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is reportedly building an investor group to buy TikTok from its parent company ByteDance.

  • Blockchain Bluff: A UK court denied an Australia computer scientist’s claim that he is the inventor of Bitcoin, leaving creator “Satoshi Nakamoto’s” true identity a mystery.

  • Co-op Companion: Google has unveiled a new AI agent that can play No Man’s Sky, Goat Simulator 3, and other video games alongside humans.

  • iWant In: Apple has quietly acquired Canadian startup DarwinAI as it tries to catch up to Google, Microsoft, and other generative AI rivals.


How AI is helping scientists forge a new path in understanding human biology

AI is already writing our emails and picking our Netflix recommendations — it might now be cooking up recipes for the medicines we take in the future as well.

How? Instead of feeding their AI model books and webpages, a team of Stanford researchers gave it data about the chemical and genetic components of human cells.

The model was able to organize cells into different groupings, helping researchers pick up patterns that had so far gone undetected. It even surfaced a cell that creates a hormone responsible for helping us survive in low-oxygen environments — a mystery that had eluded scientists for more than a century.

How else are scientists using AI? 

  • In 2018, Google’s DeepMind unveiled an algorithm that can predict protein shapes. 

  • Several other companies, including Basecamp Research and Tierra Biosciences, have since added to Google’s open-source platform or created their own. 

  • Until recently, scientists had to manually test how compounds impact the body by using real-life cells. AI can now automate that process, cutting costs and time.

  • These advancements have the potential to reshape the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial fields — helping researchers find new uses for various compounds.

Tip of the iceberg: Scientists think there’s much more where that came from. If models get better at understanding the underlying makeup of protein structures, for instance, they could help scientists create new proteins for specific tasks, like killing off cancer cells.

Where’s the funding coming from? Tech companies can see the writing on the wall. Last year, Nvidia gave $50 million to drug discovery firm Recursion. Tierra, meanwhile, just brought in $11.4 million in a Series A funding round. All told, drug discovery startups have collectively raised about $7.7 billion since 2021, according to Forbes.


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How Americans’ perspectives on AI have changed over the past year

Source: Ipsos

A new Ipsos poll reveals that Americans are more likely to use negative adjectives to describe AI, compared to this time last year.

More than a third of Americans now say AI-generated art is “controversial,” compared to 23% who said the same in 2023. And while just 14% of Americans called AI-created works “fake” last year, 21% say the same now.


How to create music with AI

Want background music or a song for your ads and other creatives? Or may you just want to play around with AI and create something interesting? Try the process below:

  • Go sign up for Microsoft Copilot. All you need is your email.

  • Once you’re in, go to the top right bar in the window and click on Plugins.

  • Scroll down in the Plugins bar and enable the Sumo plugin.

  • Now go type the prompt for the type of song you want.

It’ll take a minute or two to generate a song with lyrics and you’re good to go. For the example in the image above, I asked Copilot to generate a song that mixes jazz with electronic beats.


The biggest funding deals in AI this week

  • Autonomous vehicle software company Applied Intuition reaches a $6B valuation after raising $250M in a Series E funding round.

  • Salesforce Ventures leads a $106M funding round for Together AI, doubling the cloud service company’s valuation since last Fall to $1.25B.

  • DraftWise, which provides lawyers with AI-powered contract tools, raises $20M in a Series A round led by Index Ventures.

  • Empathy, whose products help people through the bereavement process, raises $20M from multiple backers, including insurance companies MassMutual Ventures and MetLife.

  • Proscia, a company that develops digital pathology software, raised $46M in a Series C funding round. Its diagnostic tools recently received FDA clearance.


5 AI Tools to Supercharge Your Productivity

Numerous.ai: Create content, extract keywords, and classify and summarize inputs in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel with the help of AI.

Diffblue: Automates unit testing so that Java development teams can build better applications faster.

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Magnific: Upscale photos and reimagine images in different aesthetic styles based on custom prompts and parameters.

Dola: Create a custom calendar by sending texts, voice messages, and images to an AI assistant.

* indicates a promoted tool, if any


Yayoi Kusama’s video game parlor

Source: u/hot-doughnuts-now on Reddit

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