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AI threatens yet more jobs – now, lab rats: Animal testing could be on the way out, thanks to machine learning

a_yank_lurker Silver badge

@Adrian 4 - I see even more problems with this. It is well known that trans species toxicity varies widely for a specific chemical or class. So what is nasty for your average lab rat is not necessarily a problem for a human. Also, there have been accidental discoveries that occurred when developing a new pesticide or drug. The original nerve agents were developed as pesticides and were found out later to be rather toxic to mammals including humans; a point you made. Viagra was developed as heart medication and during clinical trials it was found to be much more effective for erictile disfunction; reinforcing your point.

Most people do not understand to role of animal testing, which is probably less than believed. It is understand the underlying basic biology and chemistry on a mammal. On occasion these tests will require doing things that can not be done ethically on a person thus the need for some animal testing. (Not to deny that some animal tests seem to be ethically challenged at best, another discussion for another day.) But having a clue how something works in a rat gives a clue of how it will work in other mammals.

Also, I suspect these Artificial Idiocy systems are not actually modelling the various reactions (which may not be known) but whatever toxicological data is available. Thus, the masses will think it will be a perfect substitute for animal testing when at best it will give an indication of what to look for.

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