Tech Tactics: Putting AI & ML to work against Coronavirus

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Published: June 10, 2020 5:00 AM

Technology enables diagnostics, drug and vaccine discovery with higher predictability, speed and accuracy

Artificial Intelligence, coronavirus,intel, Covid-19 pandemic, Machine Learning,CSIR, Data Platforms Group, Nasscom, 5GNivruti Rai, country head, Intel India

As hospitals, governments, private firms and healthcare providers around the world battle the spread of coronavirus, Intel has seen many of its products and services based on new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) help in the fight. In recent times, the chip maker has been augmenting its technology collaborations with governments and state agencies to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently, Intel collaborated with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H)—providing not only tools in terms of infrastructure such as IoT gateway or servers, but also models, software stack, and some of its best resources to enable CSIR to come up with diagnostics which can enable almost personalised treatment. As part of the initiative, Intel India is developing an end-to-end system that consists of multiple applications, testing devices, data collection/ aggregation gateways, a data exchange SDK and an AI model-hub platform.

According to Nivruti Rai, country head, Intel India and vice-president of Intel’s Data Platforms Group, in the past when such viral epidemics and pandemics happened, it sometimes took seven to 10 years to build a vaccine, but technologies such as AI and ML can help in rapidly developing solutions for diagnostics and cure. She believes that this pandemic will offer India a lot of opportunities to step up and grow its business and technology relevance across the world.

“Intel creates technologies that enrich lives and this initiative exemplifies our focus on deploying advanced technology to find effective and scalable solutions for urgent local needs. Technology has become cheaper, more accessible and far more efficient since SARS-CoV-1 hit us and remains crucial in this fight against SARS-CoV-2 as it enables diagnostics, drug and vaccine discovery with higher predictability, speed and accuracy,” she said.

For Intel, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought some key learnings, but providing employee safety and business continuity along with collaborating with the government and healthcare agencies in developing solutions towards tracking, diagnostics, drug and vaccine discovery, etc., have been on top of the agenda. The chip maker’s strong capabilities in embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, has never been more vital.

Rai leads a working group at Nasscom that has built a pandemic response platform that has been architected as an open application programming interface (API)-based locally hosted, privacy preserving, multi-cloud infrastructure that enables a multitude of citizen-centric apps. The platform brings together multiple solutions and delivers more than 100 dashboards, across over 30 government and public datasets, with thousands of data points to support the central and state governments in fighting this pandemic. So far, this platform has been implemented in Telangana and Karnataka. The group has set a goal to take it to the national level.

Betting big for 5G, Intel believes this technology will become as fundamental to the nation and to cities as electricity, water or roads. “The government has to think like that to enable 5G so that our entrepreneurs, technology and services companies, even our society can leverage that,” Rai summed up.

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