The year 2021 marks the first year of rapid development for the intersection of AI and Life Science. Among the Top 10 breakthroughs in 2021 published by Science magazine, 6 are from the fields of biology and medicine. AlphaFold and RoseTTAFold, AI technologies for predicting protein structures, were rated as the biggest breakthrough of 2021.
With the development of high-throughput sequencing technology and the explosive growth of biological big data, AI algorithms have been widely used in life sciences. For example, the Random Forest algorithm can be used to predict mutation variants of genetic traits. The Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is also widely used in the calculation of distances between protein groups and medical image recognition. The co-evolution of AI and life sciences is continuously extending new scientific frontiers. The new intersection possibilities spawned by the combination of AI and computational biology, synthetic biology, and drug research and development are being developed at an unprecedented pace.
Sinovation Ventures, once again joined by the Institute for AI Industry Research, Tsinghua University (AIR) in this year's DeeCamp AI Training Camp and Innovation Challenge, is calling for global AI and life science young talents to participate in the most exciting challenges and explore possibilities to improve humankind’s well being.
DeeCamp 2022: Exploring New Frontiers of Life Science with AI
As the first “AI + Life Science” training camp in China, DeeCamp 2022 is all-expenses-paid and open to undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctoral students majoring in computer science, mathematics, physics, medical, and biology, chemistry, or any other life science-related areas.
DeeCamp 2022, divided into AI Training Camp and Innovation Challenge, will be organized virtually. DeeCamp students will be able to attend online masterclasses by a group of top researchers and industry leaders in the fields of AI and life science.
DeeCamp students will also have the chance to team up with other AI talents from all over the world to build hands-on projects. The winner of the online challenge may have a chance to win the highest award prize of RMB 100,000. DeeCamp students will also have in-depth interactions with the "future technology unicorns,” members of HICOOL Business School, to experience the dynamic tech start-up ecosystem.
The lineup of mentors for DeeCamp 2022 includes:
- Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, President of Sinovation Venture’s Artificial Intelligence Institute, and Honorary Dean of HICOOL Business College
- ZHANG Yaqin, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chair Professor of AI Science at Tsinghua University, and Dean of the Institute for AI Industry Research
- CHEN Runsheng, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Research Fellow at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- ZHANG Xian’en, Honorary Dean of College of Synthetic Biology at Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (under construction) and Research Fellow at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- ZHOU Yaoqi, Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Systems and Physical Biology, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory
- Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine
- REN Feng, Chief Scientific Officer of Insilico Medicine
- PENG Jian, Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Institute for AI Industry Research, Tsinghua University, and Founder of HeliXon
- WANG Chengzhi, Chief Scientific Officer of MEGAROBO
- SUN Xin, AI Scientist at MEGAROBO
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, said: “When we launched DeeCamp 6 years ago, we intended to coach students to solve real-world challenges with AI. As science-related intersections are demonstrating unlimited potential today, I am particularly enthusiastic about “AI + Science” and “AI + Life Science” which DeeCamp 2022 focuses on. We believe this will be a valuable “tech for good” trajectory leading to the greatest benefits to humans. As a VC investing heavily in deep technologies, Sinovation Ventures has been focusing on and deploying healthcare tech investments for years. We hope that DeeCamp 2022 could bring inspiration for scientific research and hands-on opportunities to students, and create a talent pool for China’s AI + life science innovation.”
Dr. Zhang Yaqin, Dean of the Institute for AI Industry Research (AIR) of Tsinghua University, said: ”AIR is an international, intelligent, and industrialized research institution geared towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are dedicated to powering industrial upgrading and promoting social progress using AI technologies. By setting smart healthcare as one of our three major research directions, we hope by using AI technologies, students will overcome challenges in the field of life sciences. Through our programs, they may achieve interdisciplinary integration and development, and accelerate the steady progress of the health and biomedicine fields towards a more precise, safer, cheaper, and more inclusive direction over the next decade. I wish DeeCamp 2022 will be successful in every aspect, and I hope that all students could have a rewarding experience.”
Theme and Tasks
The theme of DeeCamp 2022 is “Exploring New Frontiers of Life Science with AI.” Instead of completing a narrow task, DeeCamp let students team up to complete an entire exploratory project. Students are encouraged to solve a range of life science projects and find new opportunities to come up with new approaches combining life science and AI.
The review committee shall evaluate final results from multiple dimensions, including originality, feasibility, technological diversification, future applications, and demonstration of preliminary achievements, to select the champion and the winners of each project.
The projects of DeeCamp 2022 come from top institutes and enterprises, including Tsinghua University’s Institute for AI Industry Research (AIR), MEGAROBO, Futurtec, Shenzhen Industrial Innovation Center for Engineering Biology, and Sinovation Ventures AI Institute. Mentors from the project partners will also guide the student teams in each project throughout the camp.
The 17 projects of the DeeCamp 2022 Innovation Challenge are as follows. Students may choose to address any of them or create their tasks in the field of AI + life science
The application for DeeCamp 2022 closes on May 31. The project timetable for the summer is as follows:
▌About the DeeCamp AI Training Camp
The name “DeeCamp” is inspired by Foo Camp organized by O’Reilly in the past (an unconference with its entire schedule, agenda, and content designed by participants). Named similarly, DeeCamp aspires to build a summer camp that serves students a platform to build deep learning initiatives. Through the unified arrangement of courses and projects, DeeCamp allows students to organize themselves, manage themselves, and express themselves.
DeeCamp is a non-for-profit AI training camp aimed at increasing the practical case experience of AI talents at institutions and promoting extensive industry-university-research cooperation. Since its founding by Sinovation Ventures in 2017, DeeCamp has received over 20,000 applications from more than 1,000 universities globally, with over 1,300 students who have graduated from the program.
With creative teamed practical engineering projects as the mainstay and supported by systematic knowledge training that breaks the boundary between academics and industry, DeeCamp AI Training Camp has achieved preliminary success in establishing a large-scale, replicable training system for application-oriented AI talents, focusing on future technological changes and business development.
The “knowledge sharing + practical project” model, an original idea of DeeCamp, enables students to learn from masters of scientific research and industry fields. It also enables them to team up with like-minded partners for a hands-on experience of how AI technologies are commercialized as industrial applications, accumulating practical case experience in the process.