Salesforce and AWS step up to bolster AI safety and drug discovery

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Salesforce has announced that it has been selected to join the US AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) to help facilitate collaboration between public and private interests as AI technologies advance.

The Consortium is part of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and plays the role of a national convener between the public and private sectors to prioritize responsible innovation. AISIC was created following the White House’s AI Executive Order from October 2023 and it has called on experts to lend their time and knowledge.

Building on its prior work with NIST, the Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology and its responsible innovation initiatives, Salesforce outlined that as AI innovation is happening at a speed once thought to be impossible, such innovations without guardrails can pose varied and unexpected risks.

While last year saw governments responding to the rapid development of AI – including the UK’s AI Safety Summit, the EU’s AI Act, the White House’s AI Executive Order and the G7’s landmark code of conduct, Salesforce emphasized that “overall consumer and business trust in AI remains elusive”. For this reason, in the years ahead, the company sees public-private-sector collaborations as key to bridging this gap.

Salesforce set out plans to participate in working groups, host convenings and lend the Consortium its expertise in building and deploying trusted AI.

The company is also actively engaging with governments, industry, academia and civil society to advance responsible, risk-based and globally applicable AI norms. These efforts include signing the White House’s Voluntary Commitments to help advance the development of safe, secure and trustworthy AI, and pledging $4bn from Salesforce’s UK business over the next five years to support AI innovation. 

Owkin teams up with AWS to develop GenAI applications and accelerate drug discovery 

Biotech company Owkin has selected AWS as its primary cloud provider to develop GenAI applications and speed up drug discovery and development.

The company will leverage AWS’s scalable storage options, enhanced data security measures and computing capabilities to empower scientists and researchers to access, analyze and manage vast amounts of data efficiently and securely in the cloud.

The duo plans to accelerate innovation in biotech by using high-performance computing and machine learning tools. 

Owkin will use Amazon SageMaker to build, train and deploy machine learning models, optimize the processing of data at scale and advance the deployment of its portfolio of AI solutions through research partners, pathology labs and biopharma, aiming to better service patient health.

Thomas Clozel, co-founder and CEO of Owkin, said: “Owkin was founded with the belief that the future of precision medicine is in technologies that are able to unlock insights from the vast amount of patient data in hospitals and research centers in a privacy-preserving and secure way.

Beyond our cutting-edge technologies, our strongest asset is the power of collective intelligence through collaboration. Teaming up with AWS enables us to harness the power, security and flexibility of the cloud, unlocking new possibilities for our research initiatives.”

Owkin will use AWS’ infrastructure to build and deploy its applications, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) UltraClusters of P5 instances, powered by NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs and AWS’s networking and scalability. 

These instances support up to 3,200 Gbps of networking using second-generation Elastic Fabric Adapter technology, enabling Owkin to scale up to 20,000 H100 GPUs in EC2 UltraClusters for on-demand access to supercomputer-class performance.

Dan Sheeran, general manager of healthcare and life sciences at AWS, said: “The cloud and the advent of computational biochemistry significantly accelerated the pace of innovation in healthcare and life sciences, and applying generative AI enables another huge leap forward. 

“We are excited to support Owkin in its journey to lower costs and discover and develop better, more targeted treatments faster with flexible, secure and scalable infrastructure and fit-for-purpose generative AI tools.”