Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that chemical engineers are widely embracing, both in research and in practice, for a variety of applications. AI can solve complex problems, accelerate time-consuming research steps, and make possible computations that may have been previously impossible.
In any field where computations are commonplace, such as in chemical engineering, AI has tremendous potential to make an impact. We are seeing some of this potential come to fruition as AI is being adopted in many studies, especially where large quantities of data must be analyzed and in applications that require heavy, iterative computing.
In particular, scientists are harnessing machine learning — a subset of artificial intelligence — in complex applications. Machine learning uses data and algorithms to imitate the way humans learn, often to make discoveries, decisions, or predictions. It can rapidly analyze vast datasets at computational speed in a capacity that is far beyond that of humans.
AI and machine learning are uniquely equipped to address questions that have puzzled experts and occupied their time for decades. Today, these technologies are accelerating discoveries in various chemical engineering applications, including protein structure prediction, materials simulation, and disease characterization.
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