Who needs lab rats when you’ve got AI?

TechLife Australia - - HOTSPOT -

MA­CHINE LEARN­ING CAN MAKE AN­I­MAL TEST­ING A THING OF THE PAST.

It’s time for the ro­dents in the lab to re­tire. Well, nearly. A paper pub­lished in the jour­nal Tox­i­co­log­i­cal Sci­ences claims sci­en­tists can use ma­chine learn­ing al­go­rithms to pre­dict tox­i­c­ity of chem­i­cals to the same de­gree as an­i­mal test­ing (which, most of­ten than not, re­sults in the death of the poor crea­tures). To test this the­ory, the sci­en­tists put to­gether a list of nearly 90,000 known harm­ful chem­i­cals, then used ma­chine learn­ing to la­bel them un­der cat­e­gories like ‘dan­ger­ous’, ‘cor­ro­sive’ and so on. Us­ing these as a base, the al­go­rithm was able to learn to cat­e­gorise new com­pounds. While its re­sults matched those found dur­ing an­i­mal test­ing 70–80% of the time, it was un­able to ac­count for the fact that not all an­i­mals re­act to a par­tic­u­lar chem­i­cal the same way.

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