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Why the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative just bought an AI startup

(BUSINESS NEWS) The AI company’s mission is “to unlock scientific knowledge and accelerate the pace of discovery.” Will joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative bring the company closer to its goal “to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of the century”?


Name a more iconic duo

Power couple Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan plan on buying AI startup Meta. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the couple’s philanthropic organization founded in 2015, announced on Monday it has agreed to acquire the AI company.


From science to social

Cori Bargmann, President of Science and Brian Pinkerton, Chief Technology Officer of the Initiative disclosed in a Facebook post the organization’s newest acquisition plans. Meta is known for developing an artificial intelligence system that helps scientists read and prioritize scientific papers.

Over 4,000 scientific papers a day are published in the field of biomedicine alone.

It is absolutely impossible for a single human person to read through all of these publications.

Even a group of people could not accomplish this feat without technological help. That’s where Meta steps in.

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[clickToTweet tweet=”It analyzes & connects insights across papers, seeking out relevant information & finding patterns.” quote=”The AI analyzes and connects insights across papers, seeking out relevant information and finding patterns.”]

Meta learns in real time using natural language processing and machine learning. Its partnership with SRI International, the creators of Siri, allowed Meta to commercialize an AI technology capable of reading millions of papers. The neural network looks at signals within papers as soon as they are published to predict future impact of each article.

What’s the end game?

In a blog post, Meta CEO Sam Molyneux stated the company’s mission is “to unlock scientific knowledge and accelerate the pace of discovery.” He hopes joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will bring the company closer to its “goal to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of the century”, something both parties can agree on.

Okay, but what does this have to do with Facebook? The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is passionate about improving human health through technology. Bargmann and Pinkerton’s post notes they “will be working to make Meta even more powerful and useful for the entire scientific community”. They state they “are committed to offering these tools and features for free to all researchers.”

Partnering with Facebook will provide Meta with some serious funding as well as access to a larger scientific community. The Chan Zuckerberg organization has not yet revealed terms of the deal, which is still pending court and shareholder approval.

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Written By

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

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  1. Pingback: Zuck adds $3B to his bank account, rethinks Facebook mission statement - The American Genius

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