If not the most deadly, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is one of the most infectious and contagious diseases to have hit our planets in decades. In a little over three months since the virus was first spotted in China, it has spread to over 90 countries, and thousands have been infected. As government and health officials try to contain the spread of the virus, they need all of the help they can get, including from artificial intelligence. Although current artificial intelligence technologies are far away from replicating human intelligence, they are proving to be extremely helpful in tracking the outbreak, disinfecting areas, diagnosing patients, and speeding up the process of creating a vaccine for COVID-19. Data science and machine learning could be two of the most effective weapons we have in this fight against the virus. Here is how artificial intelligence is helping.
Tracking the COVID-19 Outbreak with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence platforms can track infectious diseases all around the world. One platform was able to flag the cluster of “unusual pneumonia” cases in Wuhan nine days before the World Health Organization released a statement declaring the discovery of the Coronavirus. Certain artificial intelligence platforms can use natural language processing and machine learning algorithm to peruse information from multiple sources of early signs of infectious epidemics. AI can look at statements from health organizations, commercial flights, climate data, livestock health reports, and news reports. With so much different data being generated on the Coronavirus every day, artificial intelligence algorithms can help focus in on bits that can provide valuable information about the spread of the virus.
Computer Vision to Detect Coronavirus Infection
You’ve probably seen COVID-19 screenings and scanners at border crossings and airports. Health officials are using thermometer guns to check travelers for signs of coughing, fever, and breathing difficulties. Now, artificial intelligence computer algorithms can perform the same at a much larger scale. A Chinese tech company has developed an artificial intelligence system with cameras equipped with computer vision and sensors to predict people’s temperatures out in public areas. Many other companies have similar systems, and this can prove to be extremely useful in scanning large and possibly infected locations all at once. These artificial intelligence systems are identical in comparison to radiologists.
AI technologies can help us achieve some incredible goals that would otherwise seem unobtainable. We must continue to use it in the fight against this deadly virus.
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