Coronavirus presents complex problems for a variety of industries. How can artificial intelligence be harnessed to address these problems?

One: Big data analysis

Vir Biotechnology has developed AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze vast data sets to predict how potential treatments will behave in the body. Over the course of four days, the company’s AI algorithms created 100,000 unique molecules and narrowed that down to 100 that showed the most promise.

Two: Social media listening

An international team of experts and Harvard Medical School have turned to social media to track the spread of the virus. The team is using machine learning to comb through social media posts, news reports and data from official public health channels for warning signs of the virus spreading. The program looks for social media posts that mention specific symptoms like respiratory problems and fever. Natural language processing is used to parse the text posted on social media to distinguish between someone discussing the news and someone complaining about how they feel.

Three: Conversational AI

Contact centers have been overwhelmed with the number of customers who need assistance about everything from travel to healthcare. One way many companies have been able to handle such volumes is with the help of conversational AI and secure messaging. Conversational AI utilizes automation and natural language understanding to respond to queries effectively and efficiently without the need for a human being.

Four: CT scan analysis

Startup Yitu, which focuses on medical imaging, deployed a system to analyze images from CT scans for coronavirus infection. This AI model can highlight and summarize symptoms to help doctors make diagnoses faster.

Five: Handheld symptom detection

China has launched a new “close contact detector” app that lets people check their level of risk for catching the coronavirus. The AI-powered app tells users if they have been near someone who has been confirmed or suspected of having the virus. Users sign up via a QR code and are registered by phone and ID number, and can then check the status of up to 3 other people.

As the world addresses coronavirus, other uses of AI are still in the lab. What AI do you think will make the biggest impact?