AI progress might lead to much easier and faster research/engineering, maybe within the next few years, and probably within the next few decades. This claim is widely believed in the AI safety world, but I'm not sure how widely known this is in the bio-risk sphere. However, if the claim is true, this is clearly relevant to know and plan for.
That's all I had to say :-).
An early example: Emergent autonomous scientific research capabilities of large language models
Holden Karnofsky lays out the general argument
AI timelines forecasts