What Google DeepMind’s introduction of AlphaDev sorting algorithm could mean for drug discovery

Researchers at Google’s DeepMind AI team have used AI to create advanced sorting algorithms, which although not specifically designed for drug discovery, could potentially benefit the field.

Published in Nature, DeepMind’s latest work demonstrates the use of deep reinforcement learning to create more efficient routines for sorting and hashing. These algorithms find use in various computational tasks, especially in computationally heavy processes such as drug discovery and simulations.

The researchers from DeepMind created an AI focused on code generation. To this end, they adapted the AlphaGo AI, a system known for defeating a human champion in the game of Go in 2016. The researchers created the AI system, known as AlphaDev, after staging a “game” approach, in which the AI treated a set of computer instructions like game moves. The AI then learned to “win” by sorting lists of three and five items as efficiently as possible. The resulting algor…

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