Episode 5: Out of the lab

The ambition of AI research is to create systems that can help to solve problems in the real world.

In this episode, Hannah Fry meets the people building systems that could be used to save the sight of thousands, help us solve one of the most fundamental problems in biology and reduce energy consumption in an effort to combat climate change. But whilst there is great potential, there are also important obstacles that will need to be tackled for AI to be used effectively, safely and fairly.

Interviewees: Pearse Keane, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital; Sandy Nelson, Product Manager for DeepMind’s Science Program; and DeepMind Program Manager Sims Witherspoon. Presented by Hannah Fry.

Out of the lab

31 mins

Listen to this episode and subscribe to the whole series on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Deezer or your favourite podcast app by searching for “DeepMind: The Podcast”.

Find out more about the themes in this episode: 

  1. Wired: Inside DeepMind's epic mission to solve science's trickiest problem
  2. DeepMind blogs on the partnership with Moorfields NHS eye hospital and predicting eye disease, and Moorfields’ news announcement on its research with DeepMind
  3. DeepMind blog: AlphaFold: Using AI for scientific discovery
  4. DeepMind blogs on reducing Google’s energy bill for datacentre cooling and how this project has progressed
  5. Research paper: Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning
  6. Quanta magazine: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Science
  7. DeepMind blog: How evolutionary selection can train more capable self-driving cars
  8. Other examples of the application of AI for real-world impact include the Francis Crick Institute: machine learning models that can help predict heart disease; NASA: AUDREY machine learning system to better guide first responders through fires, and University of Southern California: Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security using AI to help wildlife conservation

If you know of other resources we should link to, please help other listeners by either replying to us on Twitter (#DMpodcast) or emailing us at podcast@deepmind.com. You can also use that address to send us questions or feedback on the series.


Presenter: Hannah Fry
Editor: David Prest
Senior Producer: Louisa Field
Producers: Amy Racs, Dan Hardoon
Binaural Sound: Lucinda Mason-Brown
Music composition: Eleni Shaw (with help from Sander Dieleman and WaveNet)