Toronto based Meta, artificial intelligence for science, acquired by Facebook founder foundation

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the organization launched by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan to advance human potential and promote equality, has acquired Meta, a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based developer of an AI for scientists to read, understand and prioritize scientific papers.

No financial information was released.

Meta’s platform aims to make relevant scientific papers more discoverable; according to founders and siblings Amy and Sam Molyneux, since 1809, 25 million biomedical research papers have been published. Meta’s platform is meant to make sense of all this data and deliver it to industries within science depending on interest.

Mark Zuckerberg,  Co-founder, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said:

"Most scientific breakthroughs have been preceded by the invention of new tools that help us see and experiment in new ways."

A note from Cori Bargmann, President of Science, and Brian Pinkerton, Chief Technology Officer of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative posted on Facebook said:

We are excited to share that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has agreed to acquire Meta, a company that has developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand and prioritize millions of scientific papers.

Believe it or not, that’s not so easy today. In the field of biomedicine alone, researchers publish more than 4,000 scientific papers every day. But many of these papers will not be read by the scientists who could learn the most from them. Scientists know that existing search tools can’t capture all of the relevant knowledge in this immense volume of scientific research. Meta is a tool that helps fill that gap.

Meta uses artificial intelligence to analyze and connect insights across millions of papers. It seeks out the most relevant or impactful studies in a scientific area the moment they are published, and finds patterns in the literature on a scale that no human being could accomplish alone.

We will be working to make Meta even more powerful and useful for the entire scientific community, and are committed to offering these tools and features for free to all researchers.

Meta’s tools can dramatically accelerate scientific progress and move us closer to our goal: to support science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century. Meta will help scientists learn from others’ discoveries in real time, find key papers that may have gone unnoticed, or even predict where their field is headed.

The potential for this kind of platform is virtually limitless: a researcher could use Meta to help identify emerging techniques for understanding coronary artery disease; a graduate student could see that two different diseases activate the same immune defense pathway; and clinicians could find scientists working on the most promising Zika treatments sooner. In the long run, it could be extended to other areas of knowledge: for example, it could help educators stay up to date on developmental science to better understand how children learn.

We are enthusiastic about working with Sam Molyneux, his sister and co-founder, Amy Molyneux and the entire Meta team to support and improve this new tool. If you are intrigued, you can reserve a free account at meta.org and get a feel for what it does, and stay tuned for updates to the platform.

Scientists and engineers working together can achieve amazing things — and can help us succeed in our mission to advance human potential and promote equal opportunity.