The Coronavirus (COVID19), a new virus that causes respiratory illness, seems to be every where right now and has caused widespread panic. COVID19 was first detected in China, and now has spread to more than 100 locations internationally, and most recently in the United States. The Coronavirus reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, even including death. Now that the virus has reached the US, many cities, companies, universities, and schools are taking precautionary measures to protect against spreading the virus. Universities such as Duke, Perdue, UCLA, West Chester, etc. have closed their universities and transitioned all classes online. As of March 12th, Temple has decided to move all in-person classes to virtual for the remainder of the semester. Although there is not yet a vaccine, analytics and big data have been important tools in slowing the spread of the virus. The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have adopted analytics and big data in their review of the Coronavirus with optimism about finding a lasting solution. This was mind blowing to me! The question is, how exactly can AI and data analytics assist in stopping the spread of this virus? In my research about this, I found predictive analysis, big data, Graphic Information Systems Technology(GIS) and data mining have all become very powerful tools in fighting disease outbreaks.
BlueDot, an AI-based startup for infectious disease surveillance has “developed intelligent systems that sift through data about people to determine the chances of disease occurrence”. The company actually spotted COVID19 before anyone even knew it existed. BlueDot utilizes Natural language processing (NLP) as a tool to track disease. ex: BlueDot analyzes human languages around the world and uses the information to assist them forecast disease outbreaks. Machine learning is also being utilized to prevent the spread of COVID19 by offering real time information from algorithms about possible outbreaks in a certain areas.
Click here for more information about how BlueDot spotted COVID19 first!
Above is an screen shot of COVID19’s interactive heat map created by John Hopkins University and Medicine.
If you would like to view the live interactive dashboard click here
Graphic Information Systems Technology (GIS) has also been a useful tool in slowing the spread of COVID19. John Hopkins University and Medicine has been using GIS in the fight against the virus. They have created a an interactive dashboard that shows in real time all of the cases of Coronavirus internationally. This dashboard includes total confirmed cases, total recoveries and deaths in each country. The site also provides awesome heat maps that show cumulative cases and active cases. GIS uses data mining in order to detect areas in which people are talking about the illness.
Do you think AI & data analysis can actually stop the spread of a disease or illness?
If so, do you feel AI and other technologies can stop the spread on its own, or do we need the combination those technologies and human intelligence?
Bowles, Jerry. “How Canadian AI Start-up BlueDot Spotted Coronavirus before Anyone Else Had a Clue.” Diginomica, Diginomica, 10 Mar. 2020, diginomica.com/how-canadian-ai-start-bluedot-spotted-coronavirus-anyone-else-had-clue.
Duff-Brown, Beth. “How Taiwan Used Big Data, Transparency and a Central Command to Protect Its People from Coronavirus.” FSI, 3 Mar. 2020, fsi.stanford.edu/news/how-taiwan-used-big-data-transparency-central-command-protect-its-people-coronavirus.
Phillips, Brooke. “Stay Informed: COVID-19 Interactive Heat Map.” Shield HealthCare, 6 Mar. 2020, www.shieldhealthcare.com/community/news/2020/03/06/stay-informed-covid-19-interactive-heat-map/.
Visual, The, and Data Journalism Team. “Coronavirus Maps and Charts: A Visual Guide to the Outbreak.” BBC News, BBC, 6 Mar. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105.
Yakobovitch, David. “How to Fight the Coronavirus with AI and Data Science.” Medium, Towards Data Science, 18 Feb. 2020, towardsdatascience.com/how-to-fight-the-coronavirus-with-ai-and-data-science-b3b701f8a08a.