Corona Virus Research: Artificial Intelligence’s Role

While the novel Corona Virus hit pandemic level early into March of 2020, the research into the treatment of patients that have fallen ill to the disease has just begun. Normally, researchers would have no crunch time on reaching a breakthrough for a disease as complex as COVID-19. However, there is an immediate need for a breakthrough in the research for an effective treatment for this global pandemic.

Technologies Impact on Corona Virus Research

Tech companies and academic foundations pushing the frontier of artificial intelligence are teaming up to utilize their resources to help with this research. Some of the more recognizable names involved are IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and MIT. All of these companies or institutions have supercomputers at their disposal. They are lending the processing power that these supercomputers possess to research the underlying structure of the virus. As well as, to research any and all chemicals that may be effective in the treatment or possibly a vaccine for COVID-19.

The amount of research produced by these supercomputers has already led to the discovery of a number of potential chemicals and current drugs in the fight against COVID-19. These chemicals and current drugs may be effective in treatment, or possibly related to a vaccine. IBM’s supercomputer nicknamed “Summit”, was tasked with specifically looking through a multitude of simulations to determine which compounds could be effective to limit the spread of the virus. Summit identified over 70 different compounds that researchers can now experiment with. The process of utilizing supercomputers allows the computers to do the heavy lifting in research. As a result, it narrows down the potential compounds researchers have to consider. In turn, this could end up saving lives.

Conclusion

Obviously technology has improved our lives and shortened the time it takes to do various tasks. However, it is especially important in the case of medicine at this point. An effective treatment would be a game changer. The computing power these supercomputers offer, can accelerate the discovery of all sorts of advances in research. For now, we hope it can help us get a handle on this deadly disease. 

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Shane Bergey
Shane Bergey
Operations Assistant

I’m an Industrial Engineering Major at the University of Central Florida, GO KNIGHTS! At Grata, I am the Operations Assistant who makes sure everything is going to flow according to plan. Whether that be scheduling a meeting with clients or taking over quality assurance on a web and mobile application. In my limited free time, I like to hit the gym and go to amusement parks when I can.