Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Top 10 Hackathons tackling COVID-19 Pandemic
Hackathons supporting fight against COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak continues with governments and organizations across the globe fighting this pandemic.
Data scientists are collaborating through data visualization and mapping COVID-19 trends to find solutions. Kaggle is mobilizing the data science community to develop ideas by using machine learning and analytics.
Virtual hackathons are taking place in the United States, Europe and Asia with teams searching for COVID-19 breakthroughs and developing preventative measures.
Facebook and Microsoft are organizing hackathons to support in the fight against COVID-19 by developing technology solutions.
Zoom and Slack are facilitating hackathons as teams join to create practical solutions. Through collaborations, hackathons are developing modalities of addressing COVID-19.
Hackathons offer an opportunity for the best minds to work together and find solutions to COVID-19 and the traction is growing.
Here are the top 10 virtual hackathons collaborating to address the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. MIT COVID-19 Challenge
The MIT COVID-19 hackathon¹ is encouraging participants to act in light of COVID-19 by developing solutions. According to this hackathon, participants will develop measures to protect at risk populations by using education and resource mobilization.
Fake information is complicating the COVID-19 outbreak and the MIT hackathon seeks to empower communities about their roles in protecting against the virus.
Access to the right information about coronavirus poses challenges and the MIT COVID-19 hackathon wants participants to communicate the correct information. Education about COVID-19 is a problem, as most people do not understand basic measures to stay safe. MIT COVID-19 challenge educates people on this virus and maintaining safety standards.
Testing is critical in the fight against COVID-19 and the MIT hackathon is developing principles around testing. For instance, participants of this hackathon will establish people who require testing, methods of conducting the tests and the timeline.
Testing has made a difference in many parts of the world with South Korea, a good example. The country managed to flatten the curve because of determining those infected and implementing strict quarantine measures to avoid further spread.
2. John Hopkins University
The John Hopkins hackathon is tackling COVID-19 by assembling participants from diverse fields and encouraging them to find answers to this virus.
Over 200 teams are taking part in this hackathon with the goal of public education. According to organizers, the hackathon seeks to build partnerships with the public on measures needed to contain the COVID-19 situation.
Containment of the virus comes second in the John Hopkins hackathon² with teams designing methods of stopping the COVID-19. Access points and movements are some factors considered in the containment of the virus because of the mutating nature of COVID-19.
Teams participating in this hackathon will devise mechanisms of reducing infection rates by following precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands. Disinfecting the mask using UV is one solution expected at this hackathon because of mask contamination when worn for long.
3. Facebook Hackathon
The Facebook hackathon is attracting participants as the tech company organizes teams responsible for finding solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Facebook, participants will address the COVID-19 pandemic through collaborations and information sharing. Facebook wants this hackathon to encourage personal development and inspiration to become ambassadors of the world through developing solutions.
The Facebook hackathon³ will use machine learning and artificial intelligence in developing solutions to COVID-19. Participants will demonstrate their skills in using AI to track and predict the outbreak.
Facebook is among tech companies with huge investments in AI and machine learning. Participants of this hackathon will share their experiences and develop visualizations to explain trends in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kaggle¹¹ platform for data scientists is hosting a hackathon known as CORD-19 where data scientists will share data and access their database to work on the problem.
The National Academies of Sciences is collaborating with Kaggle in this hackathon by presenting questions that data scientists will use for task definition. The World Health Organization is also supporting this hackathon by availing information about COVID-19 to the data science community.
The CORD-19 research papers on coronavirus will help data scientists assess the data to find solutions to this outbreak. By accessing the CORD-19⁴ database, data scientists will share information about coronavirus and use simulation techniques to understand incubation and spreading patterns. The transformation and genetic composition of the virus are considerations at this hackathon where participants will use these metrics to find solutions.
5. AI for Mankind
GitHub has launched the AI for Mankind hackathon geared towards developing community-based solutions to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Tracing contacts with COVID-19 is one idea proposed at the AI for Mankind⁵ hackathon where teams will develop strategies to track those infected and stopping the further spread.
Temperature evaluation comes second in this hackathon where participants will develop virus detection measures through testing. Testing has helped so far in addressing COVID-19 and AI for Mankind hackathon collaborations aim to spearhead testing measures.
Exploring COVID-19 data is another initiative of this hackathon by using real-time information to monitor the situation and predict the next outbreak. Data sets used by participants in the AI for Mankind hackathon have improved visibility of the COVID-19 virus by creating a repository on GitHub.
The coronavirus is spreading fast and the AI for Mankind hackathon solutions will prevent further contamination by developing innovative solutions.
6. Wuhan 2020 Hackathon
This hackathon gained popularity for their work in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through technology solutions including AI, data analytics and machine learning.
Participants from over 20 countries presented their ideas by mobilizing evidence-based data about the virus to make decisions. Assistance to those affected and infected by the virus are some ideas pitched in the Wuhan 2020 hackathon⁶ to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Data design from those contributing to the hackathon enabled teams to figure out weak links in the fight against COVID-19. Annotated data offered support in determining the next wave of the outbreak based on current statistics.
Learning from the data and implementing solutions made this hackathon unique because of models introduced to fight against COVID-19. Technology application of machine learning is critical in mapping COVID-19 patterns and teams at Wuhan 2020 Hackathon applied it in their frameworks.
7. Machine Hack
The Machine Hack event is attracting interest because of using technology to measure the transformation of COVID-19. Participants will use technology to estimate spread of COVID-19 and determining the chances of the outbreak declining.
The coronavirus is mutating fast and this makes it spread faster leading to more infections. The Machine Hack⁷ event will address this issue by using AI technology to determine outbreak patterns. Teams will explore the current spread of COVID-19 and its movement around the globe.
The rate of infection, recovery, and deaths will guide participants of the Machine Hack hackathon as these variables determine the fatality of the COVID-19. By using simulations, teams will develop solutions for reducing the number of deaths and controlling spread through educating the public about this virus.
8. Hack the Crisis
The Hack the Crisis hackathon is using data for decisions based on COVID-19 patterns. Participants of this hackathon will explore all areas about COVID-19 and develop data based solutions.
Detecting symptoms of COVID-19 using data supports in measuring the implications of coronavirus. Teams attending Hack the Crisis⁸ will share information and data about the virus and brainstorm effective solutions to contain the pandemic.
Teams at Hack the Crisis are determining how wearable devices can track the spread of COVID-19. By retrieving data about conditions of COVID-19, wearable devices will guide teams on stopping the spread. The nature of the outbreak will be examined as teams develop trending analysis for the spread of COVID-19.
9. EU vs. Virus
The EU vs Virus hackathon⁹ will mobilize people across Europe by getting the best minds together and working on solutions for COVID-19. The European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Innovation Council are some organizations organizing the hackathon to control the spread of COVID-19.
The hackathon will foster collaborations and sharing information between participants as this will accelerate solutions and control the virus.
Digital innovation across Europe is the theme of this hackathon where members will develop ideas to stop the virus through data analytics solutions. Response measures from all member states remain critical in this hackathon where participants will propose solutions based on varied conditions across Europe.
10. CoronaHack — AI vs. COVID-19
This online event will host participants and develop frameworks for combating COVID-19. Virus monitoring techniques will assist teams in this hackathon to understand the movement of the COVID-19 and steps needed to stop it.
By offering diagnostic solutions to COVID-19, participants will simulate ideas using AI and propose them for implementation. Control is another area of CoronaHack¹⁰ event, as participants will create effective solutions to prevent the virus from spreading further.
A Collaborative Culture to defeat COVID-19
One lesson from the COVID-19 outbreak is that collaborations should come first as the pandemic unfolds. Hackathons are meeting this collaborative goal by assembling great minds together and finding solutions to the coronavirus outbreak.
Technology solutions including artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming popular as hackathons apply them to detect and establish best practices to fight the pandemic.
Scientific researchers, data scientists and those in biotechnology are collaborating through hackathons as the world reels from the COVID-19 pandemic. Artificial intelligence is supporting us in the fight against COVID-19 and the time is now for using technology for human good.
How are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak? Share your comments below to contribute to the discussion.
¹MIT COVID-19 Hackathon, ²John Hopkins Hackathon, ³The Facebook Hackathon, ⁴CORD-19 Hackathon by Kaggle, ⁵AI for Mankind Hackathon, ⁶Wuhan 2020 Hackathon, ⁷Machine Hack, ⁸Hack the Crisis, ⁹The EU vs Virus Hackathon, ¹⁰CoronaHack