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Hackernoon logoCOVID-19: AI Fighting the Pandemic Terror by@michaellyam

COVID-19: AI Fighting the Pandemic Terror

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Coronavirus: the alarming threat creates mayhem in the lives of many. Despite the terrifying conditions, technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data are mending ways of detecting an outbreak.

At a recent meeting on Downing street, senior executives from tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple met in an attempt to discuss the pandemic attack. Among the other topics, “modeling and tracking data” was one of the major discussions held.

A similar meeting conducted at the White House raised the same topics asking companies and organizations as to how they could use AI technology to prevent future outbreaks.

According to last month’s (February) report by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was noted that AI and big data played a key role in China, in response to COVID-19.


By fighting misinformation:

At the moment, there has been no detailed study regarding any misinformation on the internet, specifically Google and Facebook, but the information available remains substantial so far.

YouTube is making use of its homepage to direct any user to the World Health Organization (WHO) and other websites to access information and education out of it.

On the other hand, Google said their teams were “working round the clock to safeguard their users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware, and misinformation.” Also, an SOS alert pops up alongside the page for more information about the virus and preventive measures one needs to take.

By sharing available data:

A social media network, Facebook is already doing its bit of job by working closely with Harvard University School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan. Their study involves sharing data regarding the movement of the people along with a high-resolution population density map that helps them in forecasting the spread of the virus. Additionally, Facebook is using tools such as Crowdtangle to help partners understand how people are addressing this issue online aggregating social media posts.

During the past, Google search data is said to have used trackers that helped tracked infectious disease. In an attempt to help people track their health status, Google also came up with a small patch that could be worn in the body helping transmit data into the phone app.

This body-patch could prove beneficial for elderly people where viral infections have higher mortality and morbidity rates.

By devising robot cleaners :

Sabine Hauert, a professor at the Bristol University tells the BBC news that AI can make our daily lives simpler by using robots. The robot cleaners could clean the hospitals, or they could also make their presence available for consultations, remote meetings, and to connect with loved ones as well.

By helping find the right drugs :

Exscienta, a British startup, and the first-ever company were able to put an AI-designed drug molecule to the human trail in the earlier part of the year 2020. It barely took 12 months for this startup to design the algorithms that were used in creating it, as compared to the years it took for them to research on this AI-technology based drug molecule.

As said by Prof Andrew Hopkins, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Australian National University, AI could be made useful in multiple ways like:

• Scanning through the existing drugs to check whether this drug could be repurposed or not

• To design a drug that could be used to fight the coronavirus both for the present situation and for future outbreak

• To develop vaccines and antibodies for COVID-19

It is too early to find a cure for pandemic outbreaks. However, with the help of AI, researchers could perhaps do a better job in determining the incidences to take place.


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