Many organisations have snapped up the opportunity to utilise their AI and machine learning know-how to help alleviate the impacts suffered from COVID-19 - spanning a range of different areas, from understanding how the virus works to researching treatments for it, as well as supporting the working world as it learns to adjust to this “new normal”.
AI and machine learning have become a key tool in helping to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, not just in understanding the virus itself, but furthermore how to support various different industries throughout this unprecedented crisis.
Furthering Research on COVID-19
Machine learning technologies have recently been used to analyse huge volumes of data, helping researchers gain a deeper understanding of how the coronavirus spreads and the consequences of this. For example, Chan Zuckerberg researchers in California have come up with a model estimating the number of undetected COVID-19 infections, analysing 12 regions around the world and examining the consequences of this.
The healthcare industry is also being provided with increasingly large amounts of information on coronavirus. Whilst this is incredibly beneficial, with the sheer volume of new information on COVID-19, this has made it difficult for researchers to sift through resources when wanting to find information on a particular aspect of the virus. Machine learning has been utilised to help tackle this issue, used to create search websites dedicated to research on COVID-19, helping users to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
AI and machine learning technologies have also been used to help speed up the process of discovering drug treatments for coronavirus, AI companies helping to identify drugs which may help to inhibit the virus’s progression.
Helping Industries to Adjust
Organisations of all shapes and sizes are pushing to find the most effective ways of operating that meet the needs of their employees and customers, as well as the requirements set out by the government to slow the spread of the virus (e.g. social distancing).
Machine learning technology in particular is playing a major role in helping industries adjust to COVID-19-related restrictions, various tools that utilise this tech helping to support remote operations.
One example for this can be seen through the use of machine-learning enabled chatbots, helping to facilitate contactless screenings for coronavirus symptoms, as well as answering the public’s COVID-related questions. Certain apps have been using the latest government advice as well as knowledge on the virus to assess users symptoms and advise them on the relevant government policies.
These resources help to keep the public informed as well as helping to answer any questions or concerns they have, whilst also reducing the strain on essential resources from the government and healthcare sectors.
AI- and machine-learning-powered tools are also being used in various other industries, helping businesses to better understand their customers during this disrupted and uncertain time.
With businesses across all types of sectors having to operate almost entirely online, there has subsequently been a digital shift in customer-business interactions. This shift is creating a large quantity of unstructured, and hard to understand data, of which AI solutions can effectively analyse to provide businesses with valuable insights into the current wants and needs of their customers.