Over 130 million cases worldwide and more than 2.85 million innocent lives lost - This is the toll that we have had to pay due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These numbers are changing on a daily basis but what has stayed constant are our efforts to combat the situation. Technology has really come to the fore with Artificial Intelligence playing a critical role in various research and development efforts. While there is a long way to go before we can declare victory in this battle, AI has provided the much-needed silver lining.
For this week, we talk about stories that focus on the impact of technology in preventing, predicting & pacifying the pandemic.
Screening folks for coronavirus or any other disease is difficult unless you go to a test center in person. Vocalis has developed an AI that identifies voice characteristics of patients having various diseases without needing to visit a hospital or stressing their local healthcare systems.
Vocalis collects a lot of data related to a person’s voice. It has developed a technology that identifies characteristics of a potential disease based on the analysis of voice collected from a person. Their algorithm extracts 512 features from a voice sample and makes an image — a spectrogram — with which it can diagnose possible diseases.
Your voice can be the way to identifying the disease!
At MIT, a team of researchers is using a kind of artificial intelligence that is called natural language processing. Typically it’s used to predict grammatical sequences and semantics. But rather than punching in the collections of words, a la chatbots, text extraction, and auto-correct technology, the MIT team is plugging genetic sequences into its algorithms. The artificial intelligence here identifies patterns that signal how mutations may develop. Using that model, they’re able to help drug manufacturers get ahead of the next variant of COVID-19.
Research teams from multiple institutes are working on methods to identify the next strain. AI certainly understands that prevention is way better than cure!
I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that -> Thomas A. Edison
Using artificial intelligence (AI), the research team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering developed a method to speed the analysis of vaccines and zero in on the best potential preventive medical therapy.
The method is easily adaptable to analyze potential mutations of the virus, ensuring the best possible vaccines are quickly identified -- solutions that give humans a big advantage over the evolving contagion.
With the virus mutating rapidly, AI is making sure that our methods are mutating at an equal pace!
A new machine learning approach to COVID-19 testing has produced encouraging results in Greece. The technology, named Eva, dynamically used recent testing results collected at the Greek border to detect and limit the importation of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases among arriving international passengers between August and November 2020, which helped contain the number of cases and deaths in the country.
The findings of the project are explained in a paper titled “Deploying an Artificial Intelligence System for COVID-19 Testing at the Greek Border,” authored by Hamsa Bastani, a Wharton professor
This work paves the way for leveraging AI & real-time data for public health goals, such as border control during a pandemic!
In the end....
the crux of the entire conversation is that technology is being utilized across spectrums to solve this complex pandemic puzzle. It’s not like AI systems will magically solve Covid-19 or any related problems on their own. But it advances a computational strategy for problem-solving that could yield really exciting benefits, and possibly save a lot of lives.
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