Technology during the COVID-19 pandemic plays a crucial role in helping us fight the disease. Artificial intelligence, in particular, is an incredibly powerful tool that can be applied across many fields with minimal optimization. During the pandemic, A.I. is mainly used to monitor compliance with the preventive measures, aid research endeavors, and substitute human employees on more generic tasks.
Artificial Intelligence in Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic
One of the most controversial yet applicable uses of A.I. during the pandemic is facial recognition. Artificial intelligence has already been incorporated into the CCTV systems in many countries, but it has never been tuned to find sick people rather than criminals and terrorists before.
Cameras can scan faces of bypassing people and then send this information to an A.I. program to determine whether they are wearing masks and other personal safety items. These systems can also track the distance between people and send alerts when it doesn’t coincide with the government-instilled norms. In fact, China utilized facial recognition software to identify people who failed to adhere to the lock-down and send them to self-isolation.
Also, thermal cameras can be used to measure people’s temperature in masses. A.I. can then be used to determine whether there are individuals whose temperature is higher than normal.
A.I. Processing X-Ray Samples
Computer vision is a sub-field of artificial intelligence that aims to derive data from various images and videos as efficiently as humans do. With the help of A.I. machines now can recognize skin cancer with stunning accuracy. The same principles enable A.I. systems to scan x-ray samples and determine what conditions a person might have, listing them from the most probable to the least.
A.I. that has been trained to recognize pneumonia associated with coronavirus can be helpful in reducing the load on human medical workers. For some applications, the precision is as high as 95%. This type of software cannot replace humans, but it can sort through all the samples and redirect patients’ results to appropriate departments.
A.I. Helps Gather Data
In addition to processing data, artificial intelligence is also useful in finding and sorting information. For instance, machine learning systems can be trained to surf the web and look for posts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such models can also analyze the gathered data and compose useful statistics on the populations, locations, and behaviors associated with the pandemic.
Understanding the attitudes towards the disease is one of the vital steps in fighting it. The panic that has a tendency to arise during such devastating events can be no less damaging than the virus, forcing people to act irrationally and compromise their and others’ safety. By determining the key issues in the global discussion, public health professionals can create more targeted content. Also, the insights provided by A.I. systems help combat not only misinformation but fraudulent activity as well.
Artificial Intelligence Facilitates Medical Research
Artificial intelligence systems, such as Google’s DeppMind, are currently used to supplement medical research on the novel coronavirus. A.I. helps discover and develop vaccines and antibodies to COVID-19, as well as test the applicability of the existing drugs to combat the virus. Such research, however, still takes significant amounts of time, and researchers expect the first sound results to emerge in 18 to 24 months at the earliest.
A.I. can also be included in wearable devices that people can use to monitor their body temperature and other functions. Such apps send alerts to users’ phones once some parameters become abnormal. It can be particularly useful during these times since people frequently fail to notice the signs of coronavirus until the disease becomes severe.
The Limitations of A.I. in the Coronavirus Fight
Artificial intelligence is a powerful and multi-purpose tool that is currently applied to combat coronavirus (click here to learn more about the general applications of A.I.). However, the effectiveness of A.I. hinges on the amount of data available. Since the virus is new, substantial research is still to be carried out. In the absence of reliable and voluminous data, artificial intelligence systems are less effective than they are when applied to many better-known issues in medicine and other fields.
Recap of the Role of A.I. in the Fight Against COVID-19
Currently, the main applications of A.I. in the fight against COVID-19 are data gathering and processing. Artificial intelligence systems help automate processes and tasks to give human employees to work on more demanding and pressing objectives. A.I. is also used to control the adherence to the instilled quarantine measures in many countries via CCTV facial recognition systems. In the medical field, A.I. is aiding the research for the coronavirus vaccine and cure, but the capabilities of the technology are limited by the scarcity of the relevant data.