London, UK and Boston, USA—May 23, 2023—Synthace, creators of the world’s first digital experiment platform for life science R&D, today announces the successful integration of their platform with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This revolutionary development lets scientists use a natural language interface to describe their intent, use the AI to design complex experiments, and then run those experiments on lab equipment.
At a glance: what Synthace has done, and why it matters
The connection between ChatGPT and Synthace brings the power of generative AI to biology experiments themselves. Scientists can describe complex experiments they would like to run with simple natural language prompts, then work with the AI to define the details and specifications of their experiment.
Experiment design and lab automation are difficult and time-consuming processes in life science research and development. This breakthrough drastically reduces the time and effort needed for both of these things, meaning scientists can spend more time on creative problem-solving.
Once adopted widely, this will have a revolutionary impact on the ability of scientists to make breakthroughs in all areas of the life sciences, including drug discovery, therapeutics, food tech, climate tech, agritech—and beyond.
A full factorial experiment for optimizing T Cell media developed by the AI, ready to run on lab equipment via Synthace
A turning point for the power of scientists in the lab
Guy Levy-Yurista PhD, Synthace CEO, said “This is a truly incredible achievement, and a significant development in our mission to help scientists unlock the full power of biology.
Augmented and empowered by AI, any scientist with access to this technology will be able to perform far more experiments at a greater level of power and complexity than would have been possible before.
This isn’t the first time biology has benefitted from artificial intelligence, but this is the first time a scientist can use it to design and run their experiments in the lab at an unprecedented speed.
What used to seem like science fiction is now here, and with it we believe we will see a revolution of new possibilities in the coming years. This is a truly defining moment for the life sciences, and one we’re proud to be a part of.”
How it works: Synthace integration with AI and lab equipment
Using simple prompts, a scientist can describe and specify the details of an experiment in conversation with ChatGPT, including how it should run in a laboratory and on what equipment. In the above video, ChatGPT helps a Synthace scientist develop a growth medium for CAR T Cells, which can be used to engineer immune cells to treat cancer. As a first step it provides a list of ingredients, followed by the detailed definition of an experiment that will help find the statistically optimal combination.
With the experiment defined, it’s then transferred over to the Synthace platform to simulate and then execute the experiment in the lab (in the video, a Tecan Fluent liquid handler). With a single additional prompt, the same experiment can be converted to run at a smaller scale on an entirely different piece of equipment (an SPT Labtech Dragonfly dispenser), giving the scientist complete freedom to design and run their experiment on their platform of choice.
The AI-generated experiment converted into lab robot instructions
The Synthace platform contains its own sophisticated machine-learning technology that understands and predicts the ways in which different liquids behave and are handled in the lab. Integrated together with OpenAI's ChatGPT, the two communicate together as the scientist describes their protocol, problem-solving any potential errors and refining the machine code to ensure it will work on the selected machine.
Proving the power of a digital experiment platform
Biology is enormously complex; it’s widely recognized that AI will be necessary to unlock its full potential to help the human race. This is just one of the many ways that we can use AI to help us make that progress, and this development hints at a potentially enormous productivity boost for scientists at the forefront of research today.
Markus Gershater PhD, Synthace CSO, said “The reason we’ve been able to pull this off is because of the advanced digital experiment model that underpins our platform. Our proprietary technology builds a detailed model of every single liquid and machine movement that happens in the lab.
The power of this interface relies on the relationship between both the AI with the Synthace platform, and the Synthace platform with lab equipment. That’s why these results are only possible with the Synthace platform right now.
It’s remarkable to see these developments happen at such speed, and this fills me with enormous optimism for the potential of biology over the next few years.”
Safeguards and future developments
Requiring access to the Synthace platform to design, verify, and carry out the experiment, this AI integration has safeguards against any potential bad actors.
The only reason this integration is possible is because of the Synthace digital experiment platform sitting between the AI and the lab. It is the digital connection between the two, without which only basic, low-level operations would be possible (and even then only with significant manual handling). These low-level operations would have no real-world application in practice.
The decision to create an experiment and then run it in the lab still requires human involvement and critical thinking. When adopted widely, this development could have a significant beneficial impact on what scientists can achieve and uncover in the lab.
While this is still a prototype, commercial interest is already prompting us to explore this further. We welcome involvement and collaboration. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us.
Synthace is a digital experiment platform built for life science R&D teams to help them run more powerful experiments. It digitizes experiments from end to end: with minimal training, scientists can design and plan reproducible experiments, simulate them ahead of time, run them on their automation equipment, and automatically structure all of their experimental data and metadata in a single place. Controlled from a browser window and needing no code to operate, it makes experiments easier to run in the lab, increases the scientific value of experiments, and also makes it possible to run experiments that were previously thought impossible.
Already deployed in 9 of the top 20 largest pharma companies around the world, the Synthace platform fundamentally transforms and improves the relationship between what a scientist can imagine and what they can actually do in their lab. This means that instead of spending hours switching between many different and disconnected digital and manual tools, they can make progress in a single platform built for scientific progress. Instead of getting bogged down in logistical details, our customers spend more time focused on answering the big questions, the questions that will solve humanity’s most pressing problems.