On Monday, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy challenged researchers to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyze about 29,000 scholarly articles to answer key questions about the coronavirus.

The White House Office announced that it had partnered with companies such as Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google to collect the most extensive database of scholarly articles about the virus available to researchers.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have said they want help to better understand the origins and transmission of the coronavirus in aid of developing a vaccine and treatments.

The US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, who works in the White House, told reporters on a conference call that the hope is that computers will be able to scan the research more quickly than humans and uncover findings that humans may miss.

Machine Learning, a form of AI in which software is designed to detect patterns in data on its own, is already used in healthcare and other industries to develop summaries from large amounts of text. But before it can effectively draw conclusions, machine learning software sometimes needs to analyze millions of similar content items.

Kratsios said that only about 13,000 of the coronavirus articles are included in the new database in their entirety in a format that makes it easy for software to analyze.

The database and researchers’ submissions are being hosted on Google’s Kaggle service, a popular tool for organizing machine learning competitions online.

Officials with the US government along with American tech companies and research institutions said they rushed in the last few days to get legal permission from academic publishing companies and others to make the coronavirus papers widely available.

Eric Horvitz, Microsoft’s chief scientific officer, whose company’s software helped curate coronavirus-related papers, told reporters the goal is to “empower scientists and empower (health) care practitioners to come to solutions more quickly.”

He also said that “It’s really all hands on deck for this.”

Source: https://gadgets.ndtv.com/science/news/white-house-urges-researchers-to-use-ai-to-analyse-29000-coronavirus-papers-2195954

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