AI models and the future of genomic research and medicine: True sons of knowledge?

Bioessays 43 (10):2100025 (2021)
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The increasing availability of large‐scale, complex data has made research into how human genomes determine physiology in health and disease, as well as its application to drug development and medicine, an attractive field for artificial intelligence (AI) approaches. Looking at recent developments, we explore how such approaches interconnect and may conflict with needs for and notions of causal knowledge in molecular genetics and genomic medicine. We provide reasons to suggest that—while capable of generating predictive knowledge at unprecedented pace and scale—if and how these approaches will be integrated with prevailing causal concepts will not only determine the future of scientific understanding and self‐conceptions in these fields. But these questions will also be key to develop differentiated policies, such as for education and regulation, in order to harness societal benefits of AI for genomic research and medicine.



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Daniel Frank
University of Leeds

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Nature's capacities and their measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Mechanisms: what are they evidence for in evidence-based medicine?Holly Andersen - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):992-999.
Causation: One word, many things.Nancy Cartwright - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):805-819.

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