AIs who read sentences can also detect viral mutations

AIs who read sentences can also detect viral mutations

In a study published in Science today, Berger and his colleagues put several of these strands together and use NLP to predict mutations that allow viruses to avoid being detected by antibodies in the human immune system, a known process. known as viral immune leakage. The basic idea is that the interpretation of a virus by an immune system is analogous to the interpretation of a sentence by a human.

“This is a neat article, building on the momentum of previous work,” says Ali Madani, scientist at Salesforce, who uses NLP to predict protein sequences.

Berger’s team uses two different linguistic concepts: grammar and semantics (or meaning). The genetic or evolutionary ability of a virus – characteristics such as its ability to infect a host – can be interpreted in terms of grammatical correctness. A successful infectious virus is grammatically correct; failure is not.

Likewise, mutations in a virus can be interpreted in terms of semantics. Changes that …

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