The Yuan Retrospective on 2022 AI - Big Pharma, Big Tech Ally, Double-Team Covid-19 (II)
By Ben Armour  |  Oct 10, 2022
The Yuan Retrospective on 2022 AI - Big Pharma, Big Tech Ally, Double-Team Covid-19 (II)
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The alliance of Big Pharma and Big Tech in the mostly successful quest to develop vaccines to vanquish COVID-19 has been a keynote of the pandemic. In the follow-up on The Yuan platform series of articles predicting the evolution of AI in 2022, The Yuan editor and contributor Ben Armour relates whether his forecast of AI’s development trajectory hit the mark or fell short or wide of it. Original content superseded by events is omitted for the sake of brevity.


Predicting the future is much too easy… 

Ray Bradbury

Predictions are easy, as Bradbury noted, but retrospectively validating them is an entirely different kettle of fish. So, here goes nothing.

COVID-19 has been a bonanza for healthcare firms as new technologies using computational analyses - artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), deep learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and natural language generation - have tipped off a whole new ball game in vaccine and other drug development. All well and good, on to the first forecast.

Prediction 1. “The salient feature of this brave new world is the marriage of Big Pharma with Big Tech, and rivals cooperating to trump their other competitors, trends that will hold into next year, and beyond.”

My bad, at least as regards the first part, though the second does seem to be holding true. The number of deals relating to AI in the first half of 2022 in fact dropped by 47.8 percent from the same period in 2021, Pharmaceutical Technology reported, citing an analysis by London-based analytics firm GlobalData, which looks at mergers, acquisitions and venture capital and private equity investments. This marks decelerated growth from the 3.4 percent decrease in transactions in the second half of 2021 over the same period the year before.

One reason for this drop may well be that Big Pharma is bringing tech talent directly in house. Big Tech has laid off over 78,000 employees since the start of this year, and many of these redundant workers are gravitating towards Big Pharma, which not only realizes the indispensable nature o

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