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How ML & AI Weaken the Coronavirus Outbreak

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29th May, 2020
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How ML & AI Weaken the Coronavirus Outbreak

Who would’ve thought the world would face a pandemic in 2020? 

Until a vaccine is developed, we all should follow social distancing and ensure that the spread of this virus slows down. The vaccine could be a year away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. 

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We’ve faced such outbreaks in the past too. But this time, we have the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning in our hands. We can use these technologies to tackle this issue and solve it as fast as possible. In this article, we’ll take a look at five applications of AI to mitigate COVID19. Let’s get started:

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Vaccine Development

Probably the most crucial use of AI to mitigate COVID19 would be in vaccine development. In the current day and age, we are capable of combating such crises through science and engineering. We can use artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the speed of the drug discovery process and ensure that it becomes usable as early as possible.

Researchers have been using AI and ML for drug development for several years now. We can use machine learning models to determine the effect of different drugs on the Coronavirus, remove futile options, and study the virus properly. 

Chatbots to Make Diagnosis

Many websites use chatbots to enhance their user experience. They offer many advantages to the customers by answering their questions quickly and giving them a personalized experience. They automate customer support for companies so they can focus better on other areas of their organization.

So, in the current times when hospitals are under the stress of hundreds of coronavirus cases, they can use chatbots to handle the suspected cases. Chatbots can help people in figuring out whether they have the virus or not through simple questionnaires. People can use these chatbots and determine how high their chances of having the Coronavirus are.

You can use a chatbot that asks for your travel history, body temperature, symptoms, and geolocation to give you an idea of the probability of having the virus. This way, those who are at low risk of having the illness can stay home, and only those would go to the hospital whose chances are considerably high. 

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Predict the Virus Spread

AI prediction systems are already quite popular. From e-commerce stores to banks, many organizations use these prediction systems for different purposes. Finance companies use these systems to detect frauds, whereas ad companies enhance their targeting through the same.

We can use these AI systems to predict the spread of Coronavirus. South Korea’s case is an excellent example of such an application of AI. South Korea had launched an app that monitored the whereabouts of its citizens. This allowed them to enforce social distancing. Furthermore, it helped the government in checking the virus’ spread by tracking the contact of infected people. South Korea was able to reduce the number of its coronavirus cases considerably through the use of this app. 

The Government of India has also launched a similar app, which checks the proximity of one person to another and alerts them in case they came in contact with a suspected case. It also has a chatbot that helps people assess if they are at risk of having the virus or not. By using this data, governments can predict and prevent the spread of the virus. 

Read more: Fight Coronavirus Pandemic With The Help of Data

Improving Hygienic Practices

Social distancing is the most potent weapon against Coronavirus. This virus is already causing a significant crisis and wreaking havoc on the global economy, so, to ensure that its spread slows down, governments are focusing on promoting social distancing.

Artificial intelligence can help governments in this regard as well. Through computer vision, governments can enforce social distancing and other hygienic practices. 

Computer vision is an AI technology that enables systems to understand images and label them accordingly. Computer vision is already quite popular among AI implementations, and you must’ve seen its use in your smartphone. For example, image classification is an application of computer vision where your computer classifies images according to the content present in them. Google Images uses image classification to create albums automatically.

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Staying Home and Staying Safe

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As you can see, AI and ML are helping us in multiple ways to combat this outbreak. From accelerating the vaccine development process to assisting the health workers, AI is active in all areas of this fight. 

If you want to become a part of this fight, you can learn AI online and start contributing as well. You can browse our blog and find more resources on artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

If you’re interested to learn more about machine learning, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Machine Learning & AI which is designed for working professionals and offers 450+ hours of rigorous training, 30+ case studies & assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, 5+ practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

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Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.
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