Can Artificial Intelligence technologies be used to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus? - GulfToday

Can Artificial Intelligence technologies be used to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus?

Dr Mohamed Abdulzaher


Academic and Artificial Intelligence Journalism pioneer


Passengers undergo thermal scanning on arrival at Singapore Changi Airport last week.

When humans are unable to tackle any of the future challenges, they quickly look into technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and what it can offer by way of providing solutions to some of the big problems facing humans.

Artificial intelligence can be counted on for early detection of many diseases, including cancer. According to Nature Methods magazine, Scientists have used artificial intelligence to predict how cancers will progress and evolve. This could help doctors to create the most effective treatment for each patient. A team led by the Institute of Cancer Research London (ICR) and the University of Edinburgh developed a new technique known as Revolver (Repeated Evolution of Cancer). This picks out patterns in DNA mutation within cancers and uses the information to forecast future genetic changes.

Since December 2019 the outbreak of the #coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, the world is facing much fear and anxiety

Here we can see the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies’ role to serve human, and how 4IR technologies’ such as #Big_Data_analytics,  #Artificial_Intelligence_Journalism, #Artificial_Intelligence, #Open_Data_Portals and #Machine_Learning, come into play.

According to the World Health Organisation, artificial intelligence technologies and data analysis can be used extensively to tackle widespread epidemics and serious diseases.

Digital technologies, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are revolutionising the fields of medicine, research and public health. While holding great promise, this rapidly developing field raises ethical, legal and social concerns, e.g. regarding equitable access, privacy, appropriate uses and users, liability and bias and inclusiveness. These issues are trans-national in nature, as capturing, sharing and using data generated or used by these technologies go beyond national boundaries. The tools, methods and technologies used in “Big Data” and AI are being applied to improve health services and systems.

Analytics have changed the way disease outbreaks are tracked and managed, hence saving lives. The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have adopted analytics and big data in their review to the coronavirus with optimism is setting in about finding a lasting solution.

According to a press release, last year Harvard Medical School scientists have developed an artificial intelligence screening system which can identify homologous recombination deficiency, a cancer-causing genetic defect that often goes undetected. If integrated into widespread use, the AI system could expand treatment options for cancer patients with HR deficiency.

Last month, Harvard Medical School was spearheading efforts to find solutions for the coronavirus by using machine learning technology to review data and information from various sources, including patient records, social media and public health data.  As a result of a natural language processing tool, researchers at Harvard Medical School can search online information about the coronavirus and understand the current location of the outbreak.

China’s tech giant Alibaba last week launched an artificial intelligence (AI) system with functions such as identifying passersby with a fever or without masks, in a move to assist in the novel coronavirus control during the post-holiday travel peak period. The AI system is based on integrated technologies including thermal imaging for non-contact remote fever detection, with a margin of error within 0.3 degrees Celsius.

Artificial Intelligence Journalism: And recently Chinese government is using artificial intelligence facial recognition scanners to help detect whether people have coronavirus. Two Chinese artificial intelligence giants, Megvii and Baidu, are behind the AI and temperature-scanning developments.  They then send implemented scanners to detect body temperature and send alerts to check points.

Also, we can use the Artificial Intelligence Journalism technologies to detect fake news about #coronavirus (COVID-19). AI Journalism tools in big newswire, media and local governments can track the daily news accurately, and raise awareness of #coronavirus (COVID-19) risks, symptoms, prevalence’s, and guide people away from rumours which increase fear and anxiety. AI journalism can also help find one channel or reliable sources of information by publishing all details about the #coronavirus (COVID-19) .

Big data analysis can be used to identify all patient information and data, such as: relatives, places visited a month before, and who they met and dealt with. All this information can limit the spread of the virus, especially in densely populated countries.

Also, analyzing Big Data may help in identifying the patient’s medical history, and how he or she can respond to #coronavirus, and what is his/her response to medicine?

Open Data Platform (ODP) can provide well-sourced information about #coronavirus (COVID-19) in each country, as well as the best ways in protection. ODP will help governments and media to reach out quickly and share the right news and stories about any disease specially #coronavirus.

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