The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China on February 4 released an initiative, which calls on giving full play to the utility of artificial intelligence (AI) in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
At this very moment, the technology of AI and related products are working in research labs, hospitals, transportation junctions and communities racing against the epidemic.
Intelligent temperature easurement
As people are traveling back to cities, transportation junctions like airports and train stations have become key checkpoints for outbreak prevention.
One of the main symptoms of the pneumonia caused by the new virus is a fever, making temperature measurement necessary in public places. However, taking temperatures manually could cause crowd gathering, which poses a risk of exposure to the virus.
AI-driven systems have been used in places include transportation junctions and office buildings across China to take temperatures while avoiding the risk involved with too many people gathering together.
From the current systems used in cities including Beijing, the AI system can match the detected person with the detected data with an identification error within 0.3 degrees Celsius, without asking them to take off their masks or hats.
Through front infrared camera, the systems can identify high body temperature from the stream of the people. Based on the body shape and face information, the system can assist staff to screen people with abnormal body temperature rapidly.
Cloud computing accelerates the development of vaccine
In order to accelerate the viral analysis and vaccine development, Chinese tech giants include Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have opened their AI and cloud computing technologies to researchers for free.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has isolated the novel coronavirus and has been racing against time in drug screening and vaccine development.
The development of new drugs and vaccine requires a mass of data analysis, literature screening and scientific super-computing. The computing power of AI can assist in virus genetic sequencing and protein screening, and help research institutions to shorten the research and development cycle of new drugs and vaccine.
AI computing can help to improve the efficiency of the development of new drug and vaccine, but it can't automatically complete the development itself. However, in a race against time amid the outbreak, efficiency is vital.