Can AI help detect epidemics? | | | | Turtles AI

Can AI help detect epidemics?
  A Canadian company's artificial intelligence-based algorithm had detected a new #virus spreading across #Wuhan, #China, before #COVID-19 became known. This incident has sparked a group of researchers at the Universitat #Oberta de #Catalunya (#UOC) and the #University of the #Balearic Islands (#UIB) to explore new #models of #predictability using #AI and to evaluate the long-term consequences of #epidemics. Joana Maria Pujadas Mora, a member of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UOC and one of the principal investigators of the EPI #DESIGUAL research project, stated that the COVID-19 crisis exposed the continued threat of epidemics. Pujadas is leading a team of researchers who will use machine learning and natural language processing to perform big historical data analysis. The project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and conducted in cooperation with the Centre for Demographic Studies, will examine text from official gazettes and daily newspapers published in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands between 1820 and 1960 relating to the 1918 flu pandemic, cholera, and the plague. Pujadas emphasized that the past provides the best testing ground to prevent and prepare for the arrival of future health crises resulting from factors like globalization, increased interactions between humans and animals, greater urbanization, and climate change. The 14 researchers working on the project are collecting all available information from the archives, and the project will last for three years. The results will be published in leading scientific journals and disseminated through various initiatives. The EPI-DESIGUAL project aims to develop new models of predictability for epidemics and assess how long the effects of epidemics persist across different socioeconomic groups and gender perspectives. The project also aims to determine how pandemics impact birth rates. Ultimately, the project seeks to help decision-makers apply relevant and effective measures to fight epidemics and reduce economic inequalities. The results of the project are expected to contribute to a new data analysis paradigm based on big data analysis, replacing prevailing inductive reasoning methods in modern science, according to some authors.