"It's very easy, nowadays, to do sequencing of microbiome samples," explains Dr Arthur Ouwehand of DuPont. "If we're going to combine that with the genetic makeup of the host, of course then we have an enormous amount of data."
Ouwehand notes that researchers are also looking to combine microbiome and genetic data with other perameters - such as lifestyle and diet data.
"So the amount of data is incredible," he says. "For that, machine learning and artificial intelligence could help us in managing it and making sense out of that data, and finding new interesting things."
Professor Gregor Reid of Western University in Canada - and chair of ISAPP - added that with lifestyles and technologies changing so rapidly, he can imagine a time not to far away when it will become normal practice to bring your own stool samples to the doctors office or hospital.
"There'll be a metabolic readout of what we have," he suggests. - noting that while he's unsure of the direct use of AI, some of the related technologies will probably be used in building recommendations of what to do about your current microbiome status.
Dr Daniel Ramón Vidal of ADM Biopolis agrees, noting that AI and machine learning will 'absolutely' become a bigger part of the microbiome story.
He warns that in order to achieve personalisation in medicine or nutrition then the industry will need to embrace machine learning technologies, which can help to evolve personalised algorithms and suggestions.