What AI can tell you about COVID-19 that you did not know before.

Original article was published by Alexander Simon on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


What AI can tell you about COVID-19 that you did not know before.

Separating the Signals from the Noise.

The COVID-19 situation is still dominating our lives. The “new normal” is a way to contain the spread of the virus but it is not to last forever.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

The scientific community is very active in studying the virus (SARS-CoV-2) and to come up with a vaccine and/or an effective treatment against the disease (COVID-19). Hence a lot of scientific articles are published about the virus and it is not easy to keep track of them.

One way to effectively explore those articles is to use the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) that I learned about at an AI conference.

The site applies AI technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Text Mining and others to handle the huge amount of articles that already exist and that grows on a daily basis.

You get sophisticated search engines and filters to navigate your way through. You can personalize a feed to update you on new research and you can learn about relations among the research done.

If you are interested in scientific articles, CORD-19 is a great place to start from.

Another interesting site is Coronavirus Watch, powered by the UNESCO, OECD and other major institutions. The site provides access to worldwide media and advanced visualizations of coronavirus trends.

Medical research is also presented. You can search for relevant articles applying AI concepts, i.e. Natural Language Processing. Simply spoken the algorithms “understand” what the articles are about and present you those that match your interests.

This is a different concept compared to ranking the articles based on an analysis of their titles as those results would be biased (Titles aim to raise interest and are often not as representative for the content as an analysis of the whole text based on NLP).

You may also like the visualization / simulation tools that provide you with a better understanding of the corona virus and its spread in various countries.

There is also the possibility to embed the tools into your own site. Depending on what you are working on that could be an interesting option as well.

Racing for a vaccine, Artificial Intelligence plays a role, too. There is a lot of medical / pharmaceutical research ongoing all around the globe and researchers collaborate (and not merely compete).

The good news about it is that medical data can be pooled and that pool can be analyzed as a conglomerate. The concepts that allow to do that draw from Big Data. Available data is therefore more condensed and more knowledge can be generated out of it.

This of course comes with some challenges. Records must be carefully mapped and aligned and legal standards must be taken into account (as medical data is highly sensitive and hence highly protected all around the globe).