April 09, 2020
How AI is being used in this pandemic
Some sectors will get a boost from this crisis. Politico looked at how AI will be impacted by the pandemic and identified three specific areas where it is helping fight the pandemic already:
AI is already used for data collection to track and monitor the spread of the virus. Valencia was running the model using mobile phone data to predict outbreaks and how effective certain measures have been. One surprising result from this was that those infected by a spreader are usually those known to the infected, not the random individual on the street or in the supermarket.
Another key area is in hospitals to help in the daily routines to decide which patient is at risk to develop severe symptoms. In the UK, AI researchers teamed up with the NHS to help forecast the risk for each patient and make recommendations for how to treat them. There are also apps to help people staying at home to assess whether their symptoms are Covid-19 or not.
AI is also used to find a vaccine against Covid-19. In their hunt for drugs, scientists are looking for molecules that could harm or even destroy the coronavirus inside a human body without harming the host. An Austrian team at the University in Linz developed an AI system that scans databases with hundreds of millions of such molecules. The researchers have already been able to identify around 30,000 that could block some of the proteins the coronavirus needs to survive.