Looking outside the box: AI in the fight against COVID-19, how our society is being transformed by tech, and sensors analyzing your football skills

This week in artificial intelligence (AI) news, we take a look at AI and other tech being used to fight novel coronavirus (COVID-19), how AI and technology are impacting our society, and the implications for wearable tech.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads throughout the world, individuals from various backgrounds and disciplines, such as healthcare and tech, are coming together to figure out how to solve this crisis as well as mitigate the growing fear from the general public. One area that is working towards this goal is artificial intelligence (AI). In a report last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “AI and big data were a key part of China’s response to the virus.” One way this tech is being utilized is through anonymized data collected on people’s movements, helping them to predict the spread of the virus. According to one chief executive, AI may also help by using algorithms to design drugs to fight COVID-19, as well as scan through existing drugs in order to see if there are any previously-developed drugs that could be repurposed. However, this still requires 18-24 months, as the drugs would have to be developed, scaled up, and tested prior to release. Another way in which additional forms of technology are being put to use includes robots helping to clean hospitals. Read more on how AI is being used to fight COVID-19 in this article from the BBC. And remember, wash your hands and take the necessary precautions recommended by the WHO.

Forbes recently spoke to Jamie Susskind, award-winning author of ‘Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech’ to speak about the ways in which tech, and more specifically artificial intelligence, have transformed our lives. Whether it’s politics, data generation, or non-human systems, technology is becoming deeply ingrained into our society. One noteworthy topic the interview covers is how technology gives us the perception of control and power. We receive much of our news and information from companies and governments who own and control these technologies, which help to shape our opinions and ideologies. But what can we do to combat the potential bias that may impact our thoughts, feelings, and opinions? Read more on the impact of AI and technology trends on society in this interview from Forbes.

Wearable tech is evolving at incredible speeds. Jacquard, a wearable sensor technology project from Google, began as an experimental project and was announced at their developer conference in 2015. Jacquard’s first major development included a denim jacket, in which the wearer could use three gestures on the sleeve of the jacket to control functions on their smartphone, such as change music tracks or call an Uber. This sensor is now being implemented to track statistics for football players, with the tech being fitted for soles to insert into football shoes. The sensor can track movements such as running, quick bursts of speed, and kicking, and can all be done in real-time. Find out more about this wearable tech in this article from Wired.com.


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