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GlaxoSmithKline is looking to expand its use of artificial intelligence in drug development, the Guardian reports.

This new team, which will be headquartered in San Francisco and have positions based in other parts of the US, UK, and Germany, is to analyze genomic and cell imaging data to identify using AI techniques new drug targets, the paper adds. GSK, it notes, hopes that such an approach will speed up the drug discovery process as well as make it more successful. In particular, the Guardian says the firm will be focusing on cancer and autoimmune disease treatments, and that the team's base will be next to the firm's new functional genomics lab.

But the Guardian notes GSK is having some problems coming up with the funds to lure people away from Silicon Valley, and so is also recruiting people from the military, music industry, and academia.

"In AI, we are scouring the planet for the best people. These folks are very rare to find. Competition is high and there aren't a large number of them," Tony Wood, GSK's senior vice president of medicinal science and technology, tells the Guardian.