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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's Foundation Purchase Meta - a search engine that researches research. Woah.

January 24, 2017View for printing

When Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) ... =2eac5a2f43 just over a year ago, they pledged to spend $3B over the next decade to "cure all disease."

Yesterday, the philanthropic organization made its first acquisition ... =2eac5a2f43 to help accomplish that goal -- buying Meta , a "science search engine" that makes it easier to find and keep track of the latest academic research. How does Meta work?

Meta indexes all the scientific research available then uses AI to read everything and spit out the important stuff you need to know from sources you can trust... as opposed to whatever comes up first on Google or Bing (gotta be at least one Bing user out there).

CZI intends to improve the overall product before making it free for everyone in the coming months. Who will this benefit?

First and foremost, this helps scientists, who are currently overwhelmed by information.

Not only are they expected to stay up to date on more research than is humanly possible (scientists publish 2,000-4,000 new papers per day about biomedicine alone!), but there's no easy way to search or aggregate any of it.

So, Meta will ease that burden dramatically. In addition, here are 2 other groups who will benefit:

Universities and foundations: By making it super easy to spot trends and get in touch with authors, funding organizations can make better decisions on what research to back and where to put their resources.

Students: No more Googling scientific terms and citing some research paper from search results page #9 that may or may not be #fakenews.

The perks of being an LLC

When Marky Mark and Priscilla-y Priscilla (doesn't really work for her name, does it?) decided to make CZI an LLC, they took some heat for "diverging from the traditional structure of a charity."

However, the main reason they went the LLC route was that it allows them to acquire for-profit companies like Meta, make their technology accessible to everyone, and put the money it earns back towards its cause. So it looks like it's gonna start paying off (literally).
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