The initiative will focus on accelerating medical research, increasing understanding of health crises, and reducing health inequality.
Microsoft is pledging $40 million to researchers and organizations that build AI tools to improve the health of communities, as part of a five-year AI for Health initiative.
The initiative will focus on accelerating medical research, increasing understanding of health crises, and reducing health inequality. Collaborators will receive assistant from Microsoft data scientists and access to the company’s AI and cloud tools.
“AI for Health is the fifth Microsoft AI for Good program, a $165 million initiative to empower researchers, nonprofits and organizations with advanced technologies to help unlock solutions to the biggest challenges facing society today,” said Microsoft chief data analytics officer, John Kahan.
Billions is being spent on artificial intelligence by the healthcare industry. It is seen as a potential way of researching new drugs quicker, finding new cures for cancers, and spotting issues with current drugs and preventing new disease outbreaks.
In 2019, an AI was solely responsible for the development of a flu vaccine. In January this year, British startup Exscientia revealed a new drug to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder was developed by an AI. We can expect more news stories like this to come out in 2020.
“There are real health issues in which AI can play an important role, and it may be our best option to accelerate research or expand the reach of new solutions, especially in areas that may lack attention from the commercial health sector,” Kahan added.
Microsoft has already committed to a handful of projects, which include a collaboration with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute to strengthen medical understanding of sudden infant death syndrome and with Novartis Foundation to eliminate leprosy.