COVID-19 is being fought using artificial intelligence

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Posted on: July 1, 2020 6:51 pm EDT

The power of AI is able to process data faster and more efficiently than humans

The newly-created Digital Transformation Institute is running a funding program for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) to help fight the spread of the COVID-19. At least six UC Berkeley-led projects based on things like machine learning algorithms that can detect diseases have been awarded funding already. This one-year grant gives each project between $100,000 to $500,000, according to a spokesperson from the institute, Tamara Straus.

Over 500 reviewers participated in the project selection, and they were chosen based on several aspects, including the originality of research, the use of AI and the potential to be applied in other disciplines, as well as the possibilities to grow the project with the right support. Added to the grant, the researchers can also have free access to the computing platform and supercomputing resources at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Also, teams will have available to them the COVID-19 Data Lake, which puts together all the COVID-19-related information obtained from multiple sources.

One of the projects has Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli from the UC Berkeley electrical engineering and computer sciences as the leader. He has been developing several algorithms and other modeling techniques that can actually recognize diseases such as COVID-19 before they spread. His development also includes methods to read symptoms from foreign clinical data and even possible treatments for other diseases. “By the time they figured out what (COVID-19) was, the disease had already spread,” Sangiovanni-Vincentelli said. “We want to be able to advise the clinical people, there’s something new coming — watch out.”