Tech

Circumventing China’s firewall, and using AI to invent new drugs


As protests against China’s rigid covid control measures flooded social media over the past week, a Twitter account has emerged as a central source of information: @李老师不是你老师 (“” Ms. Lee is not your teacher”).

People everywhere in China sent protest footage and real-time updates to the account via private message, and it posted them on their behalf, with the sender’s identity hidden.

The man behind the account, Li, is a Chinese painter living in Italy who has requested to be identified only by his surname because of security risks. He has been constantly posting videos around the clock to help people in China get information and also to inform the wider world.

The work is paying off—he has received death threats, and the police have visited his family in China. But it also comes with a sense of freedom, Li told Zeyi Yang, our China correspondent. Read full story.

Biotech labs are using DALL-E-inspired AI to invent new drugs

News: Text-to-image AI models like OpenAI’s DALL-E 2—programs trained to create images of almost anything you ask for—have created ripples in the creative industry. . Now, two biotech labs are using this kind of generalized AI, known as diffusion modeling, to create designs for new proteins never before seen in nature.

Why is it important: Proteins are the basic building blocks of living systems. These protein generators can be directed to create designs for proteins with specific properties, such as shape, size or function. In effect, this helps create new proteins to do specific jobs on demand. The researchers hope that this will eventually lead to the development of new and more effective drugs. Read full story.

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