As one of the leading and largest technology innovative country China fights against the deadly Coronavirus epidemic which has resulted over 426 deaths. China’s tech giant like Baidu, Alibaba and other tech start-ups are already using their tools and applications to tackle the epidemic, especially with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Alibaba Cloud, which is the cloud division of China’s ecommerce giant has recently offered its genome sequencing AI for free. While, search engine giant Baidu also joined the battle by offering LinearFold algorithms with AI computing capabilities which helps in gene sequencing for scientific research.
Scientist and Epidemiologists in China and around the world has been trying to create vaccine by recreating the genome sequence of the virus since the outbreak last December.
The AI assisted gene sequencing algorithm reduced prediction time to study coronavirus‘s RNA secondary structure from 55 minutes to just 27 seconds which is vital during the race to stop the virus from infecting thousands of people in China and worldwide.
Apps to check infected passengers:
If you are worried to travel with fellow passengers in China, you can use an app to check for infected passengers. Chinese Internet Company Qihoo 360 has partnered with NoSugar Tech to introduce a platform that lets users check if they have recently traveled with someone who contracted the new coronavirus.
By providing the date of user’s journey, together with flight or train numbers, users can find out if they were traveling with infected fellow passengers. The platform also advises those who have traveled with a person confirmed to have the virus to self-quarantine and seek medical attention if they observe symptoms such as a fever.
AI Chat bots:
In Shanghai and other several cities, communities are using AI for early screening of virus using voice recognition bot that calls and ask high risk patients about the details and conditions. The bot also recommends the follow-up health conditions, personal details and whereabouts through multiple questions. The bot makes about 200 calls within five minutes which would normally take two to three hours manually.
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Shenzhen AI start-up Intellifusion and Baidu said their AI is being used airports and railways checkpoints for temperature to detect the infected individual which in turns helps waiting time at hospital and lessen the risk of contagion. The AI directs an infrared sensor on the foreheads of moving passengers, detecting their body temperatures within a range of 0.05 Celsius, according to an online post by Baidu
Social Media bots:
AI bots have pop-up in various social media platforms like Wechat and Twitter that tracks millions of post and provides near-real-time updates which helps public health officials tracking its spread.
To reduce infection rates in hospitals, human cleaners have been replaced by Autonomous robots at segregated wards. Shanghai Lingzhi Technology developed the cleaning robot which can work nonstop for over three hours, spraying disinfectant on self-navigated routes in hospitals.
Coronavirus outbreak was predicted during the end of December 2019 by a Canadian tech firm BlueDot which is AI-powered system. This AI system did thorough research and processed through large amounts of data around animal and plants disease networks,news reports in websites, government documents, and other online sources. This collective information helped warn the people against traveling to zones like Wuhan in China where the virus was widespread.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence has been monumental over the last decade with tech industries, ecommerce adapting to AI as a frontier of technological revolution. While most fear about the future of cognitive intelligence of AI, this fear comes from overactive imaginations that machines will become superior to human beings in the future.
The reality is far from this myth, While AI and its cognitive intelligence are at an infant stage; which requires human to code and train the cognitive of AI to function, but it is also to be noted that it is at a stage where it makes humans life easier. For the first time, Artificial intelligence is becoming a useful tool to help humanity tackle global crisis like Coronavirus outbreak. AI is not going to stop the epidemic or replace the role of epidemiologists but it is becoming a useful tool in efforts to monitor and respond to the crisis.
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