Artificial Intelligence | Wilson Center

Artificial Intelligence

How to Optimize Human Biology: Where Genome Editing and Artificial Intelligence Collide

Genome editing and artificial intelligence (AI) could revolutionize medicine in the United States and globally. Though neither are new technologies, the discovery of CRISPR in genome editing and advances in deep learning for AI could finally grant clinical utility to both. The medical use of these technologies individually could result in their eventual combined use, raising new and troubling ethical, legal, and social questions. If ongoing technical challenges can be overcome, will the convergence of AI and CRISPR result practitioners ‘optimizing’ human health?

The Internet of Living Things

Volunteers around the world and pocket-size genomic sequencers could play an increasing role in protecting global health and ecosystems.


Originally published in Scientific American, July 25 2017.

Your DNA Avatar – What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Meets Cutting-Edge Genetics?

6 AM, Washington, DC – Erika wakes up and quickly checks her ”digital DNA avatar,” a digital version of her genetic blueprint as it evolves day by day. The avatar knows a lot about her as it constantly monitors the interactions between her genes, analyses her bodily fluids and diet, as well as integrates data about the air quality around her. Her avatar proposes a few advices about food choices and exercise patterns. Everything seems in check, nothing to be worried about. For now.


How China is Preparing for an AI-powered Future

U.S. leadership in artificial intelligence (AI) research and development (R&D) may be challenged by China’s recent and centralized policy planning aimed at rapidly developing AI-related technologies. The Chinese government supports AI as a strategic area supported by high-level policies with ambitious and quantifiable targets, inter-ministry coordination, government funding for research and development, support for workforce development, and suggestions for international collaboration and expansion.

The Digital, Disruptive Future: A Conversation with the Inventor of Segway

Robots and advanced manufacturing will affect everything, from the workplace to global supply chains to healthcare to infrastructure. In hospitals and medical research labs, Artificial intelligence (AI) combined with genomics has given us the power to better understand the human genome, make faster diagnoses, and even edit our genes to eradicate inherited diseases. On highways and city roads, advances in AI mean that self-driving cars and trucks loom on the horizon.

A Window Into Our Brains – Jigsaw, Sideways, CRISPR and the Power of Analogies

We are, as a species, storytellers and the stories we tell build on metaphors and analogies to shape our perceptions, our beliefs. In 1976, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term “selfish gene” to explain a DNA-centered view of population. Ecologists built a whole metaphorical language around the idea of the “household of nature,” including terms such as competition and colonies. Beyond the natural science, the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, described the restoration of an ego damaged by neurosis as the “reclamation of flooded lands.”