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Sam Molyneux

[Photo: Sean Howard]

Most Creative People 2017

Sam Molyneux

Cofounder

For using AI to streamline scientific research

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative—the mission-driven LLC created by Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan—made its first acquisition in January 2017: Toronto-based Meta. Cofounder siblings Amy, a software developer, and Sam Molyneux, a medical biophysicist by training, started the company to help biomedicine professionals keep up with the 4,000 scientific papers published every day. With seed funding from VCs led by iGan Partners, the Molyneuxes created an AI platform using neural networks and other algorithms, and combined this with a machine-learning-based predictive-intelligence system. The resulting tool combs through the world’s largest, most up-to-date cache of scientific papers, tracks which discoveries might have the most future impact, and delivers those insights to users. With the acquisition, Meta will soon be available to researchers at no cost. Chan and Zuckerberg “share our mission of accelerating science,” Sam says. “Now we can do things faster and at a much larger scale.”

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