The controversy of artificial intelligence and the Corona virus

Artificial intelligence is making its first steps in many areas, and early detection of epidemics is one of them. Many companies have established systems to try to detect the spread of epidemics around the world, but these systems are still in their infancy and have little effect in combating the spread of the new corona epidemic.

At the end of 2019, two days before the start of the new year, the HealthMap system at Boston Children’s Hospital issued an alert for an outbreak of an unknown lung disease in Wuhan, China, but the person in charge of the system did not take the alert. seriously. After a few days. It seems HealthMap is not the only one, because the Canadian company BlueDot has also noticed the same, and a third company called Metabiota has received a pandemic alert.

You may feel angry and wonder why, despite early warnings, governments and international bodies are late in addressing the spread of the disease, because early measures will prevent us from reaching the pandemic status declared by the World Health Organization some time ago.

How do these systems work?

Many of these systems rely on reading and interpreting information from websites, social networks, and official news sources. This involves many issues, the most important of which is “data quality”.In many cases it is difficult to assess the quality of data, especially on social networks, this is a human problem, not to mention a machine.

With the increase in media reports and social networking conversations, data analysis becomes more and more difficult. Because we are entering the chaos stage, these systems need human oversight to evaluate the results they have achieved. Because these systems are based on people’s “speech”, human supervisors may need to check their sources, such as hospitals and ministries, for confirmation before any formal warnings are issued.

These reasons make us think of future solutions to help the world better respond to diseases and epidemics by providing high-quality data to AI systems, and the best source for this data may be “hospitals”. Hospitals are the first, any patient in any country will go to all over the world for treatment, and in the event of the emergence of the new Corona virus, it is certain that a large portion of the infected go to the hospital for treatment.

A reliable source for data about Corona

The problem is that the openness of hospital data is difficult to obtain quickly, because each hospital operates a different system, and patient data is distributed to many hospitals, but in a closed and isolated from each other, and despite the electronic health record (EHR) the idea has been around for a long time , but it is applied only to a limited extent, and in some countries.

Everyone understands that we live in the age of data. Faster access to accurate data means faster analysis and decision-making. This is the problem of the novel coronavirus outbreak, because many AI companies rely on social networks and some other sources, such as newspapers, the accuracy rate is unmatched if It came from accurate data from the hospital.

But if we provide these companies with access to data directly, it can cause some problems and privacy violation, which means we need to legislate for these things, because the legislation has not kept pace with the speed of technology, it is taking a long time.

It would be better if government agencies like the Ministry of Health used links to all hospitals and dumped patient data into a government data warehouse. At the same time, companies wishing to take advantage of this data are allowed to pay certain fees in the form of subscriptions and comply with certain restrictions. For example, to prevent data from being transferred abroad, these restrictions will force companies to create everything locally, which will help create a local health technology system and create a new job market.

If we go back to the Corona virus, if there is a system that can read the data of all hospitals immediately, the Ministry of Health and all hospitals will receive an alert of a new epidemic with certain symptoms, and the alert will be sent to some doctors to analyze the situation and take appropriate measures. The quarantine team will go to the place where the epidemic occurred. During the pandemic, the airport will verify entry of workers from the place where the disease occurred. All of these situations will happen much sooner rather than infecting thousands of people, and the damage may be potential. It will drop to hundreds or tens.

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