What If We Could Fight Coronavirus with Artificial Intelligence?

 

What If We Could Fight Coronavirus with Artificial Intelligence?

 

European Parliamentary Research Service

2020

 

Analytics have changed the way disease outbreaks are tracked and managed, thereby saving lives. The international community is currently focused on the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. As it spreads, raising fears of a worldwide pandemic, international organisations and scientists are using artificial intelligence (AI) to track the epidemic in real-time, to effectively predict where the virus might appear next and develop an effective response.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) received the first report of a suspected novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan. Amid concerns that the global response is fractured and uncoordinated, the WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations (IHR) on 30 January 2020. Warnings about the novel coronavirus spreading beyond China were raised by AI systems more than a week before official information about the epidemic was released by international organisations. A health monitoring start-up correctly predicted the spread of COVID-19, using natural-language processing and machine learning. Decisions during such an outbreak need to be made on an urgent basis, often in the context of scientific uncertainty, fear, distrust, and social and institutional disruption. How can AI technologies be used to manage this type of global health emergency, without undermining protection of fundamental values and human rights?

Potential impacts and developments

In the case of COVID-19, AI has been used mostly to help detect whether people have novel coronavirus through the detection of visual signs of COVID-19 on images from lung CT scans; to monitor, in real time, changes in body temperature through the use of wearable sensors; and to provide an open-source data platform to track the spread of the disease. AI could process vast amounts of unstructured text data to predict the number of potential new cases by area and which types of populations will be most at risk, as well as evaluate and optimise strategies for controlling the spread of the epidemic. Other AI applications can deliver medical supplies by drone, disinfect patient rooms and scan approved drug databases (for other illnesses) that might also work against COVID-19. AI technologies have been harnessed to come up with new molecules that could serve as potential medications or even accelerate the time taken to predict the virus’s RNA secondary structure. A series of risk assessment algorithmsfor COVID-19 for use in healthcare settings have been developed, including an algorithm for the main actions that need to be followed for managing contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases, as developed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Certain AI applications can also detect fake news about the disease by applying machine-learning techniques for mining social media information, tracking down words that are sensational or alarming, and identifying which online sources are deemed authoritative for fighting what has been called an infodemic. Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok have partnered with the WHO to review and expose false information about COVID-19.

In public health emergency response management, derogating from an individual’s rights of privacy, nondiscrimination and freedom of movement in the name of the urgency of the situation can sometimes take the form of restrictive measures that include domestic containment strategies without due process, or medical examination without informed consent. In the case of COVID-19, AI applications such as the use of facial recognition to track people not wearing masks in public, or AI-based fever detection systems, as well as the processing of data collected on digital platforms and mobile networks to track a person’s recent movements, have contributed to draconian enforcement of restraining measures for the confinement of the outbreak for unspecified durations. Chinese search giant Baidu has developed a system using infrared and facial recognition technology that scans and takes photographs of more than 200 people per minute at the Qinghe railway station in Beijing. In Moscow, authorities are using automated facial recognition technology to scan surveillance camera footage in an attempt to identify recent arrivals from China, placed under quarantine for fear of COVID-19 infection and not expected to enter the station. Finally, Chinese authorities are deploying dronesto patrol public places, conduct thermal imaging, or to track people violating quarantine rules.

 

You can find original document from the link below:

Click to access EPRS_ATA(2020)641538_EN.pdf

Artificial Intelligence for Europe

 

Artificial Intelligence for Europe

 

Image result for EU AND AI

25.4.2018/Brussels

 

INTRODUCTION – Embracing Change-

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already part of our lives – it is not science fiction. From using a virtual personal assistant to organise our working day, to travelling in a self-driving vehicle, to our phones suggesting songs or restaurants that we might like, AI is a reality.

Beyond making our lives easier, AI is helping us to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges: from treating chronic diseases or reducing fatality rates in traffic accidents to fighting climate change or anticipating cybersecurity threats.

In Denmark, AI is helping save lives by allowing emergency services to diagnose cardiac arrests or other conditions based on the sound of a caller’s voice. In Austria, it is helping radiologists detect tumours more accurately by instantly comparing xrays with a large amount of other medical data.

Many farms across Europe are already using AI to monitor the movement, temperature and feed consumption of their animals. The AI system can then automatically adapt the heating and feding machinery to help farmers monitor their animals’ welfare and to free them up for other tasks. And AI is also helping European manufacturers to become more efficient and to help factories return to Europe.

These are some of the many examples of what we know AI can do across all sectors, from energy to education, from financial services to construction. Countless more examples that cannot be imagined today will emerge over the next decade.

Like the steam engine or electricity in the past, AI is transforming our world, our society and our industry.Growth in computing power, availability of data and progress in algorithms have turned AI into one of the most strategic technologies of the 21st century. The stakes could not be higher. The way we approach AI will define the world we live in. Amid fierce global competition, a solid European framework is needed.

The European Union (EU) should have a coordinated approach to make the most of theopportunities offered by AI and to address the new challenges that it brings. The EU can lead the way in developing and using AI for good and for all, building on its values and its strengths. It can capitalise on:

– world-class researchers, labs and startups. The EU is also strong in robotics and has world-leading industry, notably in the transport, healthcare and manufacturing sectors that should be at the forefront of AI adoption;

the Digital Single Market. Common rules, for example on data protection and the free flow of data in the EU, cybersecurity and connectivity help companies to do business, scale up across borders and encourage investments; and

– a wealth of industrial, research and public sector data which can be unlocked to feed AI systems. In parallel to this Communication, the Commission is taking action to make data sharing easier and to open up more data – the raw material for AI – for re-use. This includes data from the public sector in particular, such as on public utilities and the environment, as well as research and health data.

European leaders have put AI at the top of their agendas. On 10 April 2018, 24 Member States and Norway committed to working together on AI. Building on this strong political endorsement, it is time to make significant efforts to ensure that:

Europe is competitive in the AI landscape, with bold investments that match its economic weight. This is about supporting research and innovation to develop the next generation of AI technologies, and deployment to ensure that companies – in particular small and medium-sized enterprises which make up 99% of business in the EU – are able to adopt AI.

– No one is left behind in the digital transformation. AI is changing the nature of work: jobs will be created, others will disappear, most will be transformed. Modernisation of education, at all levels, should be a priority for governments. All Europeans should have every opportunity to acquire the skills they need. Talent should be nurtured, gender balance and diversity encouraged.

New technologies are based on values. The General Data Protection Regulation will become a reality on 25 May 2018. It is a major step for building trust, essential in the long term for both people and companies. This is where the EU’s sustainable approach to technologies creates a competitive edge, by embracing change on the basis of the Union’s Values. As with any transformative technology, some AI applications may raise new ethical and legal questions, for example related to liability or potentially biased decision-making. The EU must therefore ensure that AI is developed and applied in an appropriate framework which promotes innovation and respects the Union’s values and fundamental rights as well as ethical principles such as accountability and transparency. The EU is also well placed to lead this debate on the global stage.

This is how the EU can make a difference – and be the champion of an approach to AI that benefits people and society as a whole.

 

You can reach the link and original report below:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/communication-artificial-intelligence-europe