1. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google have met officials at Downing Street

2. The meet was focused on discussing their part in the coronavirus crisis

Combatting Coronavirus tops the priority list of the world. To deal with this better, executives from tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google had a meeting with officials at Downing Street on Wednesday ( March 11, 2020 ) to discuss their role in the war to combat the coronavirus crisis.

One of the aspects focused on during this discussion was the role of these giants in “modelling and tracking data.”

In the meanwhile, in similar meetings held at the White House, asked companies how they could use AI to control the situation.

A  report by the World Health Organization (WHO) published last month mentioned that AI and big data were key players of China’s response to the deadly virus.

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Sharing data

Facebook has begun work with researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and is sharing anonymized data based on human movement and high-resolution population density maps that play a key role in helping anticipate the spread of the virus.

Social network aids understanding of how people are talking about the matter with the help of tools such as CrowdTangle.

Combating misinformation

So far, there is no clear idea about the amount of misinformation that remains on the internet on platforms such as Google and Facebook.

On this, Google states that its team has been “working round the clock to safeguard our users from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware, and misinformation.”

Additionally, Google’s video platform, “YouTube,” is using its homepage to direct its users to the WHO (World Health Organization) and other essential groups for information and education. They also are working on removing videos that suggest alternative cures as soon as they go live.

Finding drugs

Exscientia, a British start-up, is now the first company to put an AI-designed drug molecule to human trials earlier this year. It essentially took just about 12 months for the algorithms to create it.

Prof. Andrew Hopkins throws light on how AI can be used in three different ways in the current crisis:

1. For rapid development of antibodies and vaccines for the Covid-19 virus

2. To scan through existing drugs and check if any could be repurposed

3. To design medication that can combat both the current situation and future outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus

DeepMind, a Google-owned AI company, has made use of its AlphaFold systems to release structure predictions of several proteins associated with the virus.

However, these are not yet experimentally verified, but the company believes this will aid the scientific community’s understanding of how the virus functions.