Microsoft is Aiming to Beat Cancer Using Technology... Within a Decade

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Despite seemingly being incapable of building a half-decent app store for its mobile platform, Microsoft believes it’s got what it takes to save the human race from cancer. Within a decade.

The tech giant wants to pit AI against the disease, arming machines with everything we know about cancer and drugs -- as well as biology, mathematics and computing -- in the hope that they’ll develop a greater understanding of it and eventually be able to suggest effective new treatments.

Microsoft has also revealed a mind-bending approach in which it would treat cancer like a computer virus. In this instance, it says it wants to use reprogrammable cells to fight disease and restore damaged cells to a healthy state.

“If you look at the combination of things that Microsoft does really well, then it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to be in this industry,” said Andrew Phillips, who heads the biological computation research group at Microsoft’s Cambridge, lab. “We can use methods that we’ve developed for programming computers to program biology, and then unlock even more applications and even better treatments."

It all sounds mighty ambitious, and goodness knows we all hope it works. Now breathe. [Microsoft]