How AI is Helping us in the Fight Against COVID-19?
We all know that AI plays an important role in our everyday lives. From Google, Siri, and Alexa, to traffic lights and online banking, AI is all around us. But how is AI helping us fight against COVID-19? Well, there are various solutions that the government and healthcare professionals of various countries are using to help track, minimize, and treat the spread of COVID-19. From contact tracing apps to robot dogs, AI is playing a huge role in fighting the pandemic.
The very first case of COVID-19 was detected on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, China. After that, it was a Canadian AI company that alerted the rest of the world to the newly found virus. The company BlueDot developed an AI program that predicted infectious diseases and could locate and track their spread. They did this by combining AI with the knowledge of epidemiologists that look for evidence of emerging diseases. BlueDot can analyze over 100,000 reports daily in various languages. It then sends out regular alerts to health care, government, and business clients that provide a brief synopsis of the disease outbreaks that it discovered, along with the risk that they pose.
Another resource that utilizes AI are contact tracing apps. Contact tracing apps are already in use in multiple countries such as China, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, the U.S., and Italy. While there are some variations depending on the app, the general idea is that since smartphones have location services, you can detect who you have been around and if they have tested positive for COVID-19. The problem with this, though, is the issue of privacy. These apps can send our data to the government and various companies, which is a major controversy. Either way, this is another way that AI is helping us with COVID-19.
Another way that AI is helping us deal with the pandemic is through robots. There are various ways that robots are helping us deal with the pandemic. In China, drones are being used for contactless deliveries and to spray disinfectant in public areas to minimize the health risk. Robots are also being used to dispense hand sanitizer, check for COVID symptoms, disinfect rooms, and serve food and medicine to patients, all to minimize contact. In the U.S., a company called Boston Dynamics created a robot dog called Spot to help doctors assess patients in hospitals.
As you can see, artificial intelligence is having a huge impact on our fight against COVID-19 through creating algorithms that can detect the virus’ spread, contact tracing apps, and even robots.