Prior to the world being even aware of the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, artificial intelligence (AI) systems had already successfully detected an outbreak of an unknown type of pneumonia in China. As the coronavirus spread, AI tools have been deployed to support the efforts made by the medical community, policy makers and society at large to manage the stages of the crisis and its aftermath.
Using AI to understand and treat COVID-19
AI tools can help the medical community and policymakers understand the COVID-19 virus further and accelerate research in treatments via rapidly analyzing big volumes of research data. Furthermore, data mining tools and AI text can reveal the virus’ history, diagnostics, transmission, management measures and can give lessons from past epidemics.
Deep learning models have the ability to predict old and new drugs and treatments that might be successful in treating coronavirus. Several institutions are utilizing AI to identify treatments and develop prototype vaccines.
Dedicated platforms allow the sharing and consolidation of multidisciplinary expertise on AI. The US government has started a dialogue with international government science leaders that include utilizing AI in accelerating the analysis of coronavirus literature that is made available using the Kaggle Platform.
Furthermore, computing power for AI is also being made available by technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and individuals donating computer processing power, alongside public-private efforts like the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium and AI for Health.
Using AI in the diagnosis, detection, and prevention of COVID-19
AI can also be employed to help detect, diagnose and prevent the spread of the virus. Algorithms that identify patterns and anomalies are already working to detect and predict the spread of COVID-19, while image recognition systems are speeding up medical diagnosis. For example:
AI against COVID-19 can also be used to diagnose, detect, and prevent the spread of the virus. Algorithms can identify anomalies and patterns and they are already working on detecting and predicting the spread of the virus, all while image recognition systems are speeding up medical diagnosis.
Early warning systems powered by AI, can help detect epidemiological patterns by mining mainstream news, and online content with other information channels in multiple languages to provide early warnings. These early warnings complement syndromic surveillance and other healthcare networks and data flows.
AI tools also identify virus transmission chains and monitor broader economic impacts. AI technologies have demonstrated their potential in inferring epidemiological data more rapidly than other traditional reporting methods.
Rapid diagnosis is another of the AI tools against COVID-19, and it is the key to limiting contagion and understanding how the virus spreads.
Furthermore semi-autonomous drones and robots are being used to respond to the immediate needs of hospitals such as delivering medicine, equipment and food, sterilizing, cleaning and aiding medical staff.