Artificial Intelligence in the first line of defense against COVID-19 Pandemic.
“We are at war,” said the French President on March 16, 2020. We are fighting an invisible but not invincible enemy. This war has only just begun and we believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is making a significant contribution to containing the virus pandemic. A contribution by Rolando Grandi, fund manager Echiquier Artificial Intelligence, LFDE – La Financière de l’Échiquier.
Research Faster Thanks to AI
Because today, research can take advantage of the innovations that have led to the development of AI, especially cloud computing and graphics processors (GPUs). Thanks to cloud computing, computing power is now available on the Internet, so that research centers no longer need gigantic data centers for the simulation of molecules and research into the corona virus. Researchers are available from several providers such as AWS (Amazon), Azure (Microsoft) or AliCloud (Alibaba). This was made possible thanks to companies such as Folding @ Home, a project by Stanford University in which private individuals make the computing power of their computers available for biomedical research, and NVIDIA, the world market leader for graphics processors, because graphics processor computing opens up completely new dimensions for research.
These graphics processors accelerate AI algorithms and simulation software in biotechnology, which researchers use, among other things, for the analysis of the corona virus and the development of drugs and vaccines. Folding @ Home can now use more than one ExaFLOPS. This tremendous surge in computing power (ie one trillion operations per second – and thus more than the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world combined) will undoubtedly accelerate scientific discoveries.
Faster exchange of researchers thanks to AI
Other initiatives are also increasing. For example, the “Allen Institute for AI” in Seattle has developed a semantic analysis algorithm that can analyze scientific publications on the subject of corona virus from all over the world. This initiative caught the attention of the United States government, which has called on several research groups to join it1. The Canadian company Bluedot already discovered the emerging pandemic in December 2019 when it observed an increasing number of pneumonia in China. Nine days later, the WHO announced the appearance of the coronavirus. Other companies, such as Healthmap in Boston and Metabiota in San Francisco, had warned of the immediate outbreak of the virus epidemic. While these warnings did not provide immediate answers, but impressively illustrates the forecasting capacities of AI. Flanked by concrete actions, they could improve the resilience of our societies and economies in the future.
The shared and collaborative computing power drives research forward, because AI enables scientists around the world to gain new insights by evaluating around 24,000 scientific publications2 that have so far been published on the subject of corona virus. AI is still in its infancy, but the first steps are very promising.
Artificial Intelligence researchers are continues to focus on finding the best companies to develop or use these revolutionary technologies.
Top global scientists in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) want to better network with the health sciences to combat the corona virus. “Direct collaboration between experts from epidemiology or virology and AI experts will be essential for the successful application of AI-based methods,” said physicist, mathematician and computer scientist Bernhard Schölkopf of the German Press Agency on Wednesday.
Schölkopf is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen and co-founder of the “Cyber Valley” competence center. He is considered one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of machine learning. According to him, AI can be used in the fight against coronavirus, for example, in the development of medicines, in testing drug databases, in supporting treatments and in risk prediction.
Schölkopf was one of the initiators of an online conference to which international researchers were brought in as speakers on Wednesday. Topics were, for example, predicting and tracing virus outbreaks. The aim was to draw attention to AI projects and to promote new collaborations. The video conference was organized by the ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) network of scientists.
Large amounts of data, combined with the appropriate algorithms, can be used better and better in the future to determine a patient’s health forecast: How big is the risk that he will suffer from a chronic illness or that a certain type of cancer will break out in a few years? What if insurance companies get this data? And does the doctor have to inform about diseases for which there is currently no cure, or does the right of ignorance apply?
The performance in diagnostics is enormous: certain radiological findings can already be determined faster and more accurately by the computer than by humans. AI can help doctors identify black skin cancer. At some point, a trained, self-learning computer program was better at differentiating malignant melanomas from benign moles than dermatologists. “In radiology we are currently experiencing a mathematical revolution that is faster and more profound than all upheavals before,” said Stefan Schönberg, President of the German X-ray Society, at the beginning of 2019, the business magazine “Bilanz”. Scientists from China and the United States developed a system that uses electronic health records, among other things, to more reliably determine what young patients were missing than pediatricians who are relatively under-used. Learning robots are better able to perform certain routine procedures in the context of operations than a person who can get tired and is subject to human moods and mistakes. Robots will be thanks AI developments play an important role in the care and adoption of rehabilitation applications.
Artificial intelligence is already of great help in medicine today to fight against Covid 19.
- Amram is a technical analyst and partner at DFI Club Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm .He has over 10 years of technical and business experience with leading high-tech companies including Huawei,Nokia,Ericsson on ICT, Semiconductor, Microelectronics Systems and embedded systems.Amram focuses on the business critical points where new technologies drive innovations.