New AI Germ Busters Can Also Bust Unions
Humanity has now developed AI algorithms capable of fully decoding a killer bug’s proteins and creating an effective antibiotic. Was there ever any doubt that conglomerates like Amazon would seize upon this opportunity to shrink workplaces along their supply chain where AI predicts a higher probability of unionization?
ATHENS – Last week brought a rare good-news story: artificial intelligence enabled researchers to develop an antibiotic capable of killing an exotic superbug that had defied all existing antimicrobial drugs. An AI-driven algorithm mapped out thousands of chemical compounds in key proteins of Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterium that causes pneumonia and infects wounds so severely that the World Health Organization had classified it as one of humanity’s three “critical threats.”
Once the mapping was done, the AI proceeded to invent an effective drug with novel features compared to existing antibiotics. Without AI’s help, the life-saving antibiotic would remain a pipe dream. It was a scientific triumph for the ages.
But there is a nasty flipside. Remember Chris Smalls, the Amazon warehouse worker who organized an employee walkout from the company’s Staten Island, New York, facility to protest working conditions during the pandemic?