The recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease has caused a drop in sales and profit margin for most companies across the globe and tech companies are not exceptional.
With this, it’s very surprising to see how the coronavirus has affected the tech companies. But in the future, artificial intelligence could help researchers do a better job in driving away the coronavirus disease.
Though it might be too late for the fledging technology to play a major role in the current epidemic — but there is still hope for the next outbreaks. Artificial Intelligence is always good at combining through mounds of data to help find the connection that makes it easier to know the sort of treatments that could work.
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The question is what Big Data will come up with when it only gets meager scraps of information on a newly emerged illness like Covid-19, which first emerged late last year in China and has sickened more than 75,000 people in about two months.
The fact that researchers managed to produce the gene sequencing of the new virus within weeks of the first reported cases is promising, since it shows there’s far more immediate data available now when outbreaks happen.
Andrew Hopkins, the Chief Executive Officer of Oxford, England-based startup Exscientia Ltd. is among those that are working for the possible best in training artificial intelligence for drug discovery. With this, Andrew Hopkins figures new treatments could go from conception to clinical testing in as little as 18 to 24 months within the next decade and thanks to Artificial Intelligence.
A new compound for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder was designed by Exscientia though Cambridge-based Healx has a similar approach but uses machine learning to find new uses for existing drugs. This means both companies feed their algorithms with information — gleaned from sources such as journals, bio-medicals databases and clinical trials in helping to suggest new treatments for diseases.
As mentioned earlier, the two companies each use a team of human researchers to perform their research alongside the Artificial Intelligence to help guide the process.
The approach by Exscientia dubbed the Centaur Chemist, drug designers help teach the algorithms strategies for searching for compounds. Healx also put the Artificial Intelligence’s predictions to researches who analyze the results and decide what to pursue next.
Neil Thompson, the Chief Executive Officer of Healx, said this technique could be deployed against an outbreak like the coronavirus as long as it had enough data on the new disease. Healx isn’t working on tackling the coronavirus or tweaking its technology for outbreaks, but it wouldn’t be a stretch.
“We’re quite close,” Thompson said in an interview. “We wouldn’t need to change much about the AI algorithms we use. We look at matching drug properties to disease features.”
A drug that is safe for use to cure one ailment should be tested again before prescription as one catch for all these technologies is clinical testing.
Artificial Intelligence-based drug developers would have to make plans ahead as picking out a virus genome likely to cause problems in the future.
In summary, the coronavirus disease has caused fear and panic in most countries and reduction in the revenue of most global companies and such is why major tech giants are finding ways to tackle the issue of coronavirus.