Our main research focus is on the automation of science. In particular, we are interested in the development of ‘Robot Scientists’: physically implemented computer/robotic systems that utilise techniques from artificial intelligence (AI) to execute cycles of scientific experimentation.
A Robot Scientist can in a fully automatic manner: originate hypotheses to explain observations, devise experiments to test these hypotheses, physically run the experiments using laboratory robotics, interpret the results, and then repeat the cycle. Our Robot Scientist ‘Adam’ was the first machine to autonomously discover scientific knowledge. The Robot Scientist ‘Eve’ found lead compounds against neglected tropical diseases.
3rd Generation Robot Scientist
In Chalmers we are developing a 3rd Generation Robot Scientist ‘Genesis’ focussed on yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) systems biology. The hardware for Genesis will consist of ~10,000 micro-chemostats and associated transcriptome and metabolome measurement instrumentation. The goal for the AI software is to be over a thousand times more efficient than human scientists at executing cycles of scientific experimentation.
Yeast systems biology - a model system
The motivation for studying yeast systems biology is that yeast is used as model for human cells, and even though the last common ancestor of humans and yeast lived over 1 billion years ago, they share the same overall structure.
This means that the most efficient way to understand human cells is to first understand yeast. However, even yeast has thousands of different genes, proteins, small-molecules all interacting in complex temporal spatial ways. This makes yeast systems biology one of great challenges of 21st century science.
Our other core research interest is DNA computing. We developed the first nondeterministic universal Turing machine. We now working on ‘DNA supremacy’: a DNA computer that can solve larger NP complete problems that conventional or quantum computers.
Our research is supported by the Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP.