Published: 02:32, September 21, 2023 | Updated: 09:51, September 21, 2023
Generative AI offers new hope for people with incurable diseases
By Ken Ip

Incurable diseases are a major challenge for healthcare systems around the world. These diseases can cause significant suffering and death, and there are often no effective treatments available. However, there is a growing body of evidence that generative artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to develop new treatments for incurable diseases.

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can create new data, such as images, text, and music. It does this by learning from a dataset of existing data and then using that knowledge to generate new data that is similar to the data it has learned from. This technology has the potential to be used to create new drugs and therapies that can target the underlying causes of incurable diseases.

One way that generative AI can be used to develop new treatments is by designing new molecules. AI can be used to analyze large datasets of molecules to identify new compounds that have the potential to be effective treatments for diseases. This approach has already been used to identify new drugs for cancer and other diseases.

Generative AI can also be used to create new therapies that can target the underlying causes of diseases. For example, AI can be used to design new gene therapies that can correct genetic mutations that cause diseases. Gene therapies are a promising new approach to treating diseases, but they can be difficult and expensive to develop. However, generative AI could make it faster and cheaper to develop new gene therapies.

The use of generative AI in healthcare is still in its infancy, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat diseases. Generative AI could be used to develop new drugs, gene therapies, and other treatments for incurable diseases. This technology could have a major impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, generative AI also has the following potential advantages in the field of making previously incurable diseases curable:

Speed — It can accelerate the drug discovery process by identifying new compounds and therapies much faster than traditional methods.

Cost-effectiveness — It can reduce the cost of drug discovery by automating many of the tasks that are currently performed by humans.

Precision — It can be used to create new drugs and therapies that are more precise and targeted than existing treatments. This can lead to better outcomes for patients.

Personalization — It can be used to create new drugs and therapies that are personalized to each individual patient. This can lead to better treatment outcomes and fewer side effects.

The potential for generative AI to cure previously incurable diseases is very exciting. However, it is important to note that this technology is still in its early stages of development. There are many challenges that need to be addressed before generative AI can be used to develop effective treatments for all incurable diseases.

Despite these challenges, the potential of generative AI is immense. This technology could revolutionize the way we treat diseases and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Currently, generative AI can accurately describe the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s. But can it lead us to find cures? This is the hope of a new generation of bio-scientists who are utilizing advanced technologies like ChatGPT and DALL-E2 to design novel drugs capable of addressing “incurable” genetic conditions. With recent advances in genetics and protein biology, generative AI enables us to design “programmable” drugs to treat diseases that were once untreatable.

The potential benefits of generative AI extend beyond the realm of individual patients. For Hong Kong, a city known for its vibrant healthcare and biotechnology sectors, embracing and investing in generative AI would position it as a global leader in medical research and development. By fostering partnerships between academia, industry, and government, Hong Kong can create a thriving ecosystem that attracts top talent and resources in the field of generative AI for healthcare.

Furthermore, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government can actively support research and development initiatives related to generative AI in healthcare. By providing funding and incentives for innovative projects, they can encourage collaboration between bio-scientists, AI researchers, and pharmaceutical companies. This collaborative effort will not only accelerate the discovery of new treatments but also contribute to the economic growth of Hong Kong.

The author is chairman of the Asia MarTech Society and sits on the advisory boards of several professional organizations, including two universities.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.