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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


The Machine Intelligence Group researches the interface between artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology. One strand of interest is in automating scientific research, and we developed the concept of a ‘Robot Scientist’: integrating AI and laboratory robotics to physically implement closed-loop scientific discovery.

Our Robot Scientist ‘Adam’ was the first machine to autonomously discover scientific knowledge. Related to this we have a long-standing interest in developing machine learning (ML) methods for drug design, and we have an EPSRC grant to develop ML to select treatments for cancer. More generally we are developing new ML methods.

Another strand of interest is in DNA computing. We developed the first nondeterministic universal Turing machine, and we are now working on ‘DNA supremacy’: a DNA computer that can solve larger NP complete problems that conventional or quantum computers cannot.