Doha: From disseminating vital info to helping in doubtlessly life-saving analysis and growth, numerous types of know-how have a number one function in Qatar’s and the broader world’s response to COVID-19.
Specialists from Qatar Computing Analysis Institute (QCRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa College (HBKU) define how social media platforms are tackling the unfold of false info, AI’s contribution to analysis actions, and extra.
In keeping with Dr. Kareem Darwish, a principal scientist at QCRI’s Arabic Language Applied sciences, and Dr. Faisal Farooq, Head of Digital Well being analysis at QCRI, false info regarding COVID-19 contains conspiracy theories, faux cures and questionable political motivations. Widespread conspiracies embody options that signs are attributable to sarin fuel and that 5G towers are behind the genetic mutation of the virus. Different theories declare that COVID-19 is a hoax designed to subdue and monitor folks, or the work of a secret cabal bent on eliminating populations to save lots of the atmosphere. The results of such rumors embody the creation of a way of helplessness and complacency amongst communities.
Social media is presently awash with outlandish cures and treatments for COVID-19. It’s been claimed, for instance, that alcohol, tobacco and even cow’s urine are helpful for treating signs. The politicization of COVID-19 is equally – if no more – controversial. As an illustration, supporters of Donald Trump initially pushed the narrative that liberals have been exaggerating the consequences of the virus to undermine help for the US President. Equally, followers of Narendra Modi have attributed the unfold of COVID-19 round India to the Muslim missionary group Tableeghi Jaamat after a few of its members examined optimistic following a non secular gathering.
Dr. Faisal Farooq
Social media platforms corresponding to Fb, Twitter, and YouTube have constantly pointed customers to the World Well being Group (WHO) web site for dependable info regarding COVID-19. Our analysis additionally highlights that many social media customers have been actively dispelling rumors and discrediting sources. It is a optimistic signal, says Dr. Darwish and Dr. Farooq.
“We’ve additionally noticed that open social media platforms have been extra profitable in decreasing faux information and rumors than their messaging counterparts, corresponding to WhatsApp. Equally, many of those platforms have created devoted aggregators that distill info from articles, information and organizational posts whereas offering entry to dependable info in a consolidated method. Nonetheless, some rumors have made their manner round social media at an alarming price. You already know you might be in hassle once you obtain the identical video mentioning a particular rumor or conspiracy idea a number of occasions on WhatsApp,” they stated.
Equally, below the compassionate use standards many experimental medicine – or medicine permitted for different ailments – are being examined on sufferers. That is leading to numerous trials, huge quantities of literature and the era of latest medical information. AI and different information mining applied sciences are being utilized to generate insights from this information to reply excessive precedence scientific questions. For instance, the COVID-19 Open Analysis Dataset (CORD19) launched by numerous organisations is now a part of a strategic name to the scientific group from the White Home for contributions. This contains the invention of novel remedies or the off-label use of permitted medicines, says Dr. Darwish and Dr. Farooq.
Additionally synthetic Intelligence is being utilized to numerous elements of the pandemic. As an illustration, China has deployed an AI radiology device that makes use of CT photographs to diagnose COVID-19. This helped the nation to beat a scarcity of check kits, which in any other case stays the usual follow throughout the scientific group. Variants of AI know-how have been additionally used to determine and monitor doable outbreaks and illness clusters, in addition to sufferers getting into quarantine and self-isolation.
“Researchers are additionally utilizing AI to determine novel and present drug candidates primarily based on molecular construction and protein interactions. Whereas this doesn’t obviate the necessity for lab testing, it considerably hastens candidate era. Elsewhere, analysis is ongoing right into a data-driven strategy to foretell numerous finish factors like severity, size of restoration and mortality. If profitable, this strategy will show extraordinarily helpful in conditions the place correct useful resource utilisation is crucial,” says Dr. Darwish and Dr. Farooq.