How AI Is Helping During This Time Of Crisis*

*This is a collaborative post*

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Making Positive Contributions In The Battle Against COVID-19

The concept of Artificial Intelligence can seem a bit far out and futuristic to some, as always with any technological progression, there are both hopes and fears which accompany it. Will AI automatons one day subjugate the entirety of the human race in feudal servitude to them? Who knows, but there are some undoubtedly good things happening with regards to AI and how AI is doing its bit during the current global crisis.

One example is the utilisation of a new and experimental artificial intelligence tool, which is helping in the fight against COVID-19 as I write. The AI tool has demonstrated a remarkable ability to accurately predict which patients that have been newly infected with the Covid-19 virus would then go on to develop the deadly respiratory disease.

This means that those who are found to be more likely to develop the respiratory disease will then be able to be closely monitored and treated in a way which should hopefully improve their chances of survival.

Photo source Pexels

As of the 25th April there have been more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of the virus worldwide with just over 197 thousand deaths according to figures provided by the John Hopkins Research Centre

This study is being led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Courant Institute if Mathematical Sciences at NYU, in partnership with Cangnan People’s Hospital and  Wenzhou Central Hospital, both of which are located in Wenzhou, China. This AI study has revealed the best indicators of future severity and found that they were not as they had first anticipated.

While such tech is in its relative infancy, it certainly is a good sign for the future, as articulated by Megan Coffee, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Disease & Immunilogy at NYU Grossman School of Medicine;

‘While work remains to further validate our model, it holds promise as another tool to predict the patients most vulnerable to the virus, but only in support of physicians’ hard-won clinical experience in treating viral infections’. 

AI Is Helping Us Learn About Covid-19

There are still many unknowns relating to this relatively new and novel virus, therefore finding out as much information as possible about the virus as quickly as possible, is absolutely vital in the efforts against it. 

Photo source Pexels

London based AI company Deepmind, have utilised their own recently published deep-learning system AlphaFold to release predicted structures of the Covid-19 virus under an open licence. They are hopeful that by doing this they can feed into wider research going on around the world.

AI Helps Us In Manufacturing

Ai is being utilised in a number of ways from software modelling and trend analytics, to the actual manufacture of the tools we need in order to save lives and prevent the spread of the disease. Industrial Vision Systems (IVS) is a major manufacturer of machine vision and artificial intelligence products, they are leaders in the field of innovative image processing systems for quality control, code reading, guiding and identification. By combining these skills, they have the ability to manufacture vision system products but also to then fully integrate said systems which makes their respective service unique.

Photo source Pexels

When it comes to the production of vaccines or the much needed ventilators quality control and the AI which can ensure efficient and accurate solutions to the problems poised by the virus. There are teams currently working in Denmark's capital at the University of Copenhagen. 

They are working on software models which might well be able to predict the most vulnerable so accurately, as to predict and how many days it will take for a specific person to require Intensive care or to a ventilator. The work going on in the field of artificial intelligence is absolutely fascinating. 

Although we have just touched on a couple of aspects of it here, I would recommend you have a little look into some of the things going on around the world in our universal fight against the dreaded Coronavirus.

Thanks for reading.

*Contributed by Michael David. *Header photo source Pexels.

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