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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are
    #27142001 - 01/11/21 02:58 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

This would be pretty awesome.


https://thenextweb.com/neural/2021/01/11/scientists-use-supercomputers-and-ai-to-determine-how-good-or-deadly-your-street-drugs-are/

A team of researchers from the University of Victoria have developed an AI system capable of determining the expected chemical makeup of drugs. While it involves supercomputers and a robust cocktail of cloud-based machine learning technologies, the ultimate goal is to make it dead-simple for just about anyone to tell what’s in their drugs.

Approximately 70,000 deaths from drug overdose are recorded annually in the US alone. While the causes are both myriad and systemic, a significant number of these tragedies could potentially be avoided if consumers knew what was in their drugs.

The issue relates to those who take both ‘legal’ prescription drugs under the care and advisement of properly-licensed medical professional and those who abuse prescription drugs or use so-called ‘street’ drugs.

According to a report from Ken Strandberg in Technology Networks’ Informatics, the project came about to address concerns over things such as fentanyl levels in opioids and inconsistencies in the unregulated prescription drug markets.

When most laypersons think about drug testing, they’re probably imagining something like a urine sample or a hair test. But drug ‘checking’ is used to determine what’s in a drug itself. Typically, we have to take a drug maker at their word. When big pharma tells us what’s in our pills, we pretty much have to believe it.

And the same goes for the so-called ‘street’ drug market. Without a laboratory and some dedicated equipment it’s virtually impossible for someone to determine what’s actually in the molly, MDMA, or other drugs people are taking.

The big idea here is to ultimately develop a system for medical professionals – such as pharmacists – to quickly and accurately determine what’s actually in the drugs they issue. But the scientists also want to see their work made available to the general public.

Strandberg’s piece quotes Dennis Hore, a member of the University of Victoria team:

A recently funded project seeks to build an interactive kiosk, where people can bring their samples for analysis, and the computer provides guidance based on science, without gender or race bias or bias based on their answers to questions.

Dirty drugs, whether prescription or ‘street,’ are responsible for untold deaths. A system that can quickly and easily determine what’s in your drugs could be an incredible game-changer, but shrinking a laboratory down to kiosk size is no simple task.

Where normal drug analysis involves physical chemistry – with machines and beakers and so forth – the Victoria team’s system relies on a robust cocktail of AI, machine learning, and supercomputers to make ‘surface’ inferences. The reason for this is simple: we can’t put a glass beaker or a centrifuge on the internet, but we can use cloud compute to put supercomputer-based AI online.

Quick take: The researchers are using brute force here, and not just because the supercomputer they’re using (called Arbutus 2) has 1,000s of Intel Xeon processors. The AI powering the analysis uses a kitchen sink approach involving several different types of AI and ML paradigms. This, according to the team, makes it possible for the system to determine both known quantities and completely novel drug compounds.

In much the same way that laboratory testing helps to protect pharmacies and their patients from ‘bad batches’ and needle exchange programs help protect addicts from disease, this AI system could serve as a new, powerful form of protection for drug users.

Published January 11, 2021 — 18:59 UTC


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Offlinesonoramo
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #27142503 - 01/11/21 08:05 PM (1 month, 21 days ago)

I wonder what technologies the machine would use as input to the AI system? Building an instrument that can perform some kind of spectroscopy, chromatography or wet chemistry,... and fit in a kiosk that handles ranges of temperatures and stoned users beating on it,... seems challenging.


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Invisibleopenmind
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: sonoramo]
    #27143947 - 01/12/21 04:02 PM (1 month, 20 days ago)

Quote:

sonoramo said:
I wonder what technologies the machine would use as input to the AI system? Building an instrument that can perform some kind of spectroscopy, chromatography or wet chemistry,... and fit in a kiosk that handles ranges of temperatures and stoned users beating on it,... seems challenging.





I'm kinda wondering about that too.


I don't really understand how this "super computer/AI" is going to analyze the drug(s). With what instrument, in what manner does the "AI" sense/detect the drug(s)? 

So this is something that's being developed so any average person can walk up to a kiosk and test their drugs instantly with out any need or help from a "technician" of sorts? Sorta like walking up to something like an "ATM", you put your sample of drugs into the machine and it analyzes it and gives you a break down of everything that's in the material?

I know some festivals already offer drug testing on site, and some countries already offer drug testing to the public....So this is basically just trying to make something simple like an "ATM" or a "vending machine" that is in a public area that anyone can walk up to at anytime to test their drugs and get the results instantly, with out any need for a "technician" to put the drugs into and work the machines/software and translate the results of the analysis? Do I understand this correctly? lol

How does the "AI" and supercomputers fit into this though? Drug testing is already done with out any of that. I feel that a fully automated drug testing "machine"/kiosk can be developed with out any need for "AI" or the massive processing power of a super computer. I don't understand what part the AI & super computer is playing in this?



We already have handheld "tools"/technology that can analyze and identify chemicals through materials...It's basically a hand held "scanner" of sorts that can identify chemicals even if the chemicals are sealed in a package/container of sorts.

"Agilent Raman spectroscopy systems use proprietary spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) and transmission Raman spectroscopy (TRS) in fields ranging from airport security screening and pharmaceutical quality control, to hazardous chemical identification in the field.

SORS enables chemical analysis through containers and opaque barriers, from helping first responders identify the contents of suspect packages, to high-throughput raw material identification inside unopened packaging at pharmaceutical quality control. TRS nondestructively screens whole tablets and capsules in seconds, for rapid content uniformity and polymorph analysis in pharma QC and formulation development.

The Resolve handheld Raman analyzer enables rapid identification of explosives, narcotics, toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents, and other materials through sealed, opaque containers. The system identifies materials from comprehensive libraries, with Agilent's unique handheld SORS technology enabling positive chemical identification through a wide range of sealed nonmetallic containers, barriers, and packaging.

https://www.agilent.com/en/product/molecular-spectroscopy/raman-spectroscopy/handheld-raman-chemical-detection-systems/resolve-handheld-raman-analyzer-for-through-barrier-chemical-identification "





Quote:

The big idea here is to ultimately develop a system for medical professionals – such as pharmacists – to quickly and accurately determine what’s actually in the drugs they issue.





Why would a pharmacy need to test their drugs? Shouldn't a pharmacists be totally aware of what's "in the drugs" ?

Aren't pharmacies required to acquire their drugs from legitimate/licensed sources? Are some pharmaceutical companies selling tainted/laced drugs?

I'd feel a bit sketched out if I was getting a prescription and the pharmacists had to analyze/test the pills first to make sure they're legit.





Quote:

A recently funded project seeks to build an interactive kiosk, where people can bring their samples for analysis, and the computer provides guidance based on science, without gender or race bias or bias based on their answers to questions.





What does gender or race have anything to do with the analysis of & the composition of drugs? Why does one have to answer such questions, or any questions at all, to have drugs tested?

What sort of "guidance" is this "AI" giving? I don't understand what is meant by "guidance" when they're talking about a system that analyzes the composition of drugs?







-OM

.


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Offlinesonoramo
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: openmind]
    #27144400 - 01/12/21 08:37 PM (1 month, 20 days ago)

Quote:

openmind said:
... SORS enables chemical analysis through containers and opaque barriers, from helping first responders identify the contents of suspect packages, to high-throughput raw material identification inside unopened packaging at pharmaceutical quality control. TRS nondestructively screens whole tablets and capsules in seconds, for rapid content uniformity and polymorph analysis in pharma QC and formulation development.





That's very interesting, I'd never heard of SORS, and I've done several projects using Raman spectroscopy. I looked it up,... the fact that you have to subtract two spectra to get the data you really want means that it is even more sensitive to noise and interference than "standard" Raman. Plus, it would be pretty much impossible to do any surface-effect enhancement tricks. Yet another issue with SORS is that it doesn't really work with materials in an "opaque" container like a can. It can handle a "visually opaque" container like a plastic medicine bottle or a plastic jug. Finally, in a kiosk, I'd expect the user takes the material in question out of its package for analysis.

The thing is, however, that illicit drugs show up as powders, organic material, liquids and even gasses (poppers or nitrous). It would be a real challenge to make a sample holder that can handle all those forms.

Quote:


Why would a pharmacy need to test their drugs? Shouldn't a pharmacists be totally aware of what's "in the drugs" ?





Maybe if somebody brings in pills for disposal? You aren't supposed to dump unused medication down the drain.


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Offlinesonoramo
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: openmind]
    #27144419 - 01/12/21 08:43 PM (1 month, 20 days ago)

Quote:

openmind said:
. . .
What does gender or race have anything to do with the analysis of & the composition of drugs? Why does one have to answer such questions, or any questions at all, to have drugs tested?





I took this to be not that the AI is biased, but that a minority user might be too intimidated or uncomfortable to ask an old authority-figure-looking white dude he doesn't know what's in his baggie. :shrug:

:cop:


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: sonoramo]
    #27144891 - 01/13/21 02:21 AM (1 month, 20 days ago)

Was this was on 'Hamilton's Pharmacopeia'? Every drug is rated in terms of grams of mj?

Also, computers are used in sentencing, in terms of demographics and recidivism, presumably, to find the lowest mathematical rate or repeat offences?

imo --
Is there a nameable victim of your behavior, and what are the damages?

Regardless of what 51% of my neighbors think.

The difference between a republic and democracy is when unpopular minorities are protected from the will of the mob.

:mob:


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: openmind]
    #27145978 - 01/13/21 03:36 PM (1 month, 19 days ago)

I also thought the article was lacking in detail but figured it more an issue of the article's author.

Why would a pharmacy need to test their drugs? Shouldn't a pharmacists be totally aware of what's "in the drugs" ?

With globalization, quality control is not given the same emphasis everywhere and there have been a number of cases of tainted drugs and issues where the pills contained more or less of the active ingredient than they were supposed to.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/consumer/recall-alert/more-thyroid-drugs-recalled-because-they-may-not-be-strong-enough/2423984/

If pharmacists were able to run them through another level of analysis when they are transferring them from the main storage to the individual bottle, that would be an amazing way to increase drug supply chain safety.


--------------------
I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Offlinenamaste
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #27149763 - 01/15/21 03:21 PM (1 month, 17 days ago)

Instructions unclear.  Ramen noodles stuck in ATM.


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #27150116 - 01/15/21 06:54 PM (1 month, 17 days ago)

Quote:

HagbardCeline said:
Why would a pharmacy need to test their drugs?




People are surreptitiously tested for drugs, or under duress, when they want a prescription.


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OfflineMolecularConcept
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Re: Supercomputers and AI unite to determine how good/deadly your street drugs are [Re: durian_2008]
    #27154001 - 01/17/21 08:22 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Openmind is that the little ir spectrometer that plugs into your smartphone? There was something like that on Kickstarter years ago. If I had the money I would have bought it.


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