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The power of machine learning

Monday, April 5, 2021

“Gaining broad technical skills in artificial intelligence and data science isn’t actually that challenging,” recognized Jaskirat Bhatia. “You can find countless tutorials on Youtube that will teach you the basics. But they can’t tell you which tools to apply to which problems. They can’t guide your learning in any way.” That’s where the Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (MDSAI) comes in. 

During a co-op term in the Department of Chemistry, Bhatia relied on the skills and knowledge he gained from the MDSAI program to help create a model for repurposing an existing drug to treat COVID-19. He used machine learning to identify tens of thousands of properties that identify which types of molecules will bind to which types of proteins. “If you can identify a molecule that binds to the main of protein of COVID-19, you can effectively disable the virus,” he explained. His supervisor is preparing to publish a research paper that incorporates Bhatia’s research. 

Recently, Bhatia’s enthusiasm for leveraging AI and machine learning to solve urgent problems led to the creation of a new company: JEmotions. Together with a business partner he met at a virtual industry conference, Bhatia is developing a unique AI-based app to gauge stress levels and connect users to mental health resources. “We’re still in the prototype stage, but I’m excited about our potential for growth in the next few years,” said Bhatia. “Thanks to the MDSAI program, I had all the knowledge I needed to take this chance.”

Read more about Bhatia's story.