Something unseen and not very well known currently threatens the health and prosperity of everyone on this planet. The COVID-19 coronavirus is for all intents and purposes, anonymous. It passes by unseen. We only know where it’s been because of the chaos left behind.
Everything is much more connected than we think, and the more we can look for patterns within these connections, the quicker we can find a way to better understand the novel coronavirus that has changed our world. One of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal is artificial intelligence (AI).
More than 2,000 academic research papers have been published globally about what has been learned about COVID-19 since it emerged in Wuhan, China in December of last year. New information is uncovered daily.
This growing bank of knowledge is essentially vital. Medical science hopes that technology can take this huge amount of coronavirus research and mine it for patterns that allow for insight that will lead to a vaccine or other treatments.
The National Library of Medicine has teamed up with private tech companies specializing in AI and machine learning to sift through this growing mountain of information to look for identifiable traits that will help medical researchers understand what makes the coronavirus worse for some patients.
The project will look at what’s been published about the new virus, as well as tens of thousands of sources of information related to the coronavirus family as a whole. The AI algorithms will also scan information about the authors and their affiliations.
It’s too early to know what might be identified, but the approach is a bold new way to use the power of AI to sift through subtle and sometimes arbitrary connections in data to offer insight and identify solutions.
Making sense of chaos
“AI and high tech in general have gotten something of a bad rap recently, but this crisis shows how AI can potentially do a world of good,” explained Oren Etzioni, CEO of Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). He is a University of Washington computer science professor, and his company is participating in the program.
Etzioni was speaking on a call Monday organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, as part of an announcement of a project called the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset, aka CORD-19.
Forbes magazine recently published an article highlighting 10 ways that artificial intelligence can be used to manage and fight COVID-19. “The better we can track the virus, the better we can fight it,” writes the article’s author, Bernard Marr. He points out how AI can look at seemingly unrelated types of data and combine it to make precise forecasts.
The biggest challenge is that while there’s an abundance of data, there are no global standards. Also, not all useful data comes from sources such as published medical papers. Valid information can come from social media and reports from the public. Again, machine learning and AI come to play – with the capacity to sift, classify, and provide a clear view.
Learn how we use AI to provide a clear view of customers in your market who are ready to buy right now. It’s a process called Identity Resolution, which processes more than 50 billion points of data every day from both online and offline sources.