Alibaba to complete human genome sequencing in 24 hours by 2020

Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud at Shenzhen Computing ConferenceAlibaba Cloud last week announced the launch of its upgraded machine learning platform and its latest technology advancment in the field of life science at its annual The Computing Conference 2017 -- Shenzhen Summit, with over 4,000 attendees attended.

Alibaba Cloud's President Simon Hu announced the company has upgraded its machine learning platform from PAI to PAI 2.0. Powered by Apsara, Alibaba Cloud's large scale computing engine, PAI 2.0 provides distributed computing capabilities that allow organizations to handle petabyte-level computing tasks like data mining and modeling.

"As China's first machine learning platform, PAI is born to make our AI program an effective tool for helping people and businesses to resolve practical issues," said Jingren Zhou, chief scientist of Alibaba Cloud. "We are also seeing our data intelligence capability being leveraged to assist customers in creating better healthcare services and endorsing smart manufacturing in China."

Medical Brain

Powered by PAI 2.0, Alibaba Cloud announced it has developed "ET Medical Brain," a suite of AI solutions built on its cloud computing infrastructure to drive advancements in healthcare sector. Amassing medical knowledge and experience, ET Medical Brain aims to ease the workload of medical personnel by taking roles of patients' virtual assistants, and participating in medical imaging, drug development, hospital management and wearable healthcare devices.

Externally, Alibaba Cloud has formed partnerships with Intel and LinkDoc (an oncology big data company) to co-host the 2017 Tianchi AI Competition for Healthcare to promote AI-supported medical diagnosis. Participants will compete by developing algorithms and models to analyze high-resolution chest CT scan data sets and screen the pulmonary nodules through data intelligence. The competition aims to improve the accuracy of early lung cancer detection and stimulate the integration of traditional treatments and machine learning. Registration for the competition opened during the Alibaba Shenzhen Summit on 29 March 2017, a total of 71,287 participants were recorded.

Last year, Alibaba Cloud and Shenzhen-based genomics company BGI Online, announced a collaboration project to reduce the cost of human genome sequencing and analysis to RMB 1,000 by the year 2020. Using Alibaba Cloud for data transmission, data storage, data security and computing, BGI Online targets to complete the processing, testing and analysis of a set of human genomes within 24 hours by the year 2020, while keeping the cost down to RMB 2,000.