Oct 27 • 44M

Luis Voloch: AI and Biology

On how contemporary AI research can accelerate fundamental science.

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daniel bashir
Interviews with various people who research, build, or use AI, including academics, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, and more.
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In episode 46 of The Gradient Podcast, Daniel Bashir speaks to Luis Voloch.

Luis is co-founder of Immunai, a leading AI-led drug discovery company with over 140 employees and over one billion dollar valuation based out of NYC & Tel Aviv. Before Immunai, Luis was Head of Data Science and Machine Learning at ITC and worked at Palantir, where he worked on a variety of ML efforts. He did his studies and research in Math and CS in MIT.

He has also led AI, genomics, and software efforts at a number of other companies.

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Outline:

  • (00:00) Intro

  • (02:25) Luis’s math background and getting into AI

  • (06:35) Luis’s PhD experience, proving theoretical guarantees for recommendation systems

  • (09:45) Why Luis left his PhD

  • (15:45) Why Luis is excited about intersection of ML and biology

  • (18:28) Challenges of applying AI to biology

  • (22:55) Immunai

  • (27:03) Challenges in building a biotech (or “tech-bio”) company

  • (30:30) Research at Immunai, Neural Design for Genetic Perturbation Experiments

  • (34:43) Interpretability in ML + biology

  • (36:00) What Luis plans to do next

  • (37:55) Luis’s advice for grad students / ML people interested in biology

  • (40:00) Luis’s perspective on the future of AI + biology

  • (43:10) Outro

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