The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in rapid and unpredictable ways. The dramatic increase in cases, coupled with alarming death rates in countries like Italy have taken the modern global economy into new and uncharted waters. The AI industry has wasted no time in assembling its resources to help combat the disease and I would like to present a survey of AI use cases and trends that have been exposed by the global COVID-19 response so far.
COVID-19 is prompting companies to adopt AI call center solutions and customer service centers are experiencing an unprecedented increase in overall call volume. LivePerson (AI-powered conversational platform) says it has observed “significant” increases in volume on its conversational platform. WeChat, operated by China’s Tencent provides access to free online health consultation services, and Microsoft along with the CDC have built an AI-powered COVID-19 chatbot designed to help you figure out whether you need to go to the hospital.
China is using facial recognition technology and temperature detection software from SenseTime to identify people who might have a fever and be more likely to have the virus.An AI system developed by Chinese tech company Baidu uses an infrared sensor and AI to predict people’s temperatures is now in use in Beijing’s Qinghe Railway Station.
AI powered image analysis is being used to study how traffic volume and patterns have been affected by COVID-19 containment efforts in the UK. Vivacity Labs, a startup that makes camera-based traffic sensors discovered a 30% decrease in pedestrian traffic before stay-at-home orders were announced. They were also able to also analyze the distance between pedestrians, revealing 28% fewer interactions between pedestrians over 2 meters apart.
CT diagnosis speed
Multiple companies are using computer vision AI to improve the speed and accuracy of CT scanning technologies. Imaging departments in healthcare facilities are being taxed with the increased workload created by the virus, and the hope is that AI-powered diagnosis systems can provide accurate virus diagnostics seconds.
Prediction of medications
BenevolentAI is using AI systems to develop drugs to treat COVID-19. They claim to have used their predictive capabilities to propose existing drugs that might be useful within weeks of the outbreak. DeepMind is taking a different path to drug discovery by using AlphaFold. AlphaFold is studying genome sequences ( available for COVID-19) to predict the properties of resulting proteins. These proteins may provide insights into possible therapies.
Prediction of survival rates
Initial results using clinical data from Tongji hospital in Wuhan, have used AI to predict survival rates with more than 90% accuracy. The work was done by researchers from the School of Artificial Intelligence and Automation, as well as other departments from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China.
By:Prof. Melancy Mascarenhas
Department of Information technology