Artificial Intelligence Helping to Tide over the Pandemic
Early concepts of artificial intelligence dates back to ancient history where ideas of bestowing man-made beings with the ability to have its own consciousness to make decisions and process information. It was not until the 1950s when technology caught up and the field of artificial intelligence research was founded during a conference at the Dartmouth College in 1956.
Fast forward more than 60 years later, artificial intelligence technologies have been applied to many things we use in our daily lives. These range from social media application to using artificial intelligence for processing data to understand patterns in trends in solving issues in transportation. Other examples of everyday applications of artificial intelligence include, email spam filters, plagiarism checkers, and financial transactions. Various forms of artificial intelligence technologies have benefitted a number of industries in helping to process large amounts of data to generate useful insights or identify patterns that could be used to make improvements.
As quoted from Ginni Rometty, who was IBM’s CEO from 2012 to 2020, “Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence.” It is no doubt that artificial intelligence has already been helping us in a number of ways, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic it has also been able to shine in this area to assist in managing this outbreak.
In the Features for this month of October, we have an article contribution on how artificial intelligence is helping to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. (p. 18) Also, we explore the paradigm shifting use of artificial intelligence in accelerating the drug discovery process. (p. 22)
Turning to the Spotlights section, we keep things close to our heart with an article on the clinical trial by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company, that discovered the use of a diabetes medication for treating heart failure. (p. 26) Looking towards the future of research in heart disease, we dive into the work of researchers who are creating a genetic and cellular map of the human heart to better understand disease pathogenesis. (p. 32)
Finally, in the Columns section, we come back to the most pressing story of the year 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic. This month we gather an understanding of what would it take to develop the COVID-19 vaccine at an accelerated pace. (p. 14)
Deborah Emmanuel SEAH Qing En
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