Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, is currently engaged in financing the non-profit organization Future House, which specializes in creating a virtual assistant based on artificial intelligence for the laboratory to transform the research process.
This organization intends to develop machine intelligence tools that will be able to analyze and summarize research work. Future House also strives to ensure that these advanced technology configurations can answer scientific questions by using large language models. The goal-setting system of the organization does not end with these aspirations. Future House strives to one day offer users an artificial intelligence tool that will be able to familiarize itself with the content of scientific papers in the shortest possible time and formulate hypotheses with great speed. The organization aims to ensure that its AI configuration carries out activities faster and on a larger scale than a person.
Recently, the number of companies that are interested in creating scenarios for using machine intelligence to achieve scientific goals has been rapidly increasing. In this context, the greatest attention is focused on the discovery of new drugs and treatment methods.
Future House is convinced that artificial intelligence can potentially become not only a tool that accelerates and improves the quality of work in the scientific sphere but also transform the fundamental concept of activity in this environment. The organization is confident in the realism of this vision, even taking into account the fact that existing AI tools are subject to bias and periodically make mistakes. In this case, it should be mentioned that in the process of scientific development, incorrect hypotheses are what can be called an organic component on the path to truth, which is often achieved after a series of misconceptions.
At the same time, we must not forget about the risks of using artificial intelligence in science. The problem of inaccuracy in this case is a lesser evil in the list of negative probabilities. People can use the results of using AI in science, for example, to create weapons. This potential scenario actualizes the need for maximum caution.
Eric Schmidt, during a conversation with media representatives, said that currently, scientific research in the early stages is not progressing fast enough. It was he who helped formulate the fundamental idea of Future House’s activities. Eric Schmidt was inspired to work at the Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto, which developed ethernet, laser printing, and other innovations. According to him, in the mentioned center, people aged 20 to 30 years received independence and all the necessary resources and invented various things at an incredibly fast pace. He stated that he wants to create a similar environment so that young researchers have the opportunity to realize their best ideas.
Currently, Eric Schmidt’s fortune is estimated at $24.5 billion. He invested part of these funds in charitable projects, including Schmidt Futures, which finances entrepreneurs in the sphere of science and technology.
The former CEO of Google will provide money to Future House during the first five years of its existence. Preliminary estimates state that by the end of next year, this organization will spend about $20 million. A significant part of these funds will be used to hire talents and create a laboratory for testing chemicals and other biological materials.
Eric Schmidt stated that the main feature of Future House is the combination of talents in the sphere of biology and artificial intelligence. One of the first to be hired was Andrew White, who was an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester. Speaking about the potential of AI, he noted that most scientists probably read five articles a week, saying that the situation in the corresponding sphere will change significantly when there are systems capable of processing 10,000 new documents every day.
Andrew White said that Future House will start with biology, but over time the activity will spread to other segments of the science space.
Eric Schmidt believes that with his financial support, this organization should focus on research and not participate in the race for profit. According to him, the correct use of incentives is of particular importance at present. Eric Schmidt also stated that against the background of high expectations that progress in the sphere of artificial intelligence will lead to the appearance of products in the short term, many large AI research centers have focused on the commercial aspect of their activities.
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