Corona virus started from Wuhan in China and has spread through out the world now. With the imposition of lockdowns, limitations of movement, the closure of borders and other measures to contain the virus, the operating environment of law enforcement agencies has suddenly become ever more complex. They find themselves thrust into the middle of an unparalleled situation, playing a critical role in halting the spread of the virus and preserving public safety and social order in the process. The governements across the world are on toes.
In response to this growing crisis, many countries, China at the forefront, are leaning on technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), data science, and tracking technology for support to fight the pandemic in unique and innovative ways.
Below are some of the ways AI technology is being used to manage and fight COVID-19.
- Canadian AI firm Bluedot created tools to identify, track and forecast outbreaks
- Infervision launched a coronavirus AI solution to help diagnose the virus
- Terra Drone is using its unmanned aerial vehicles to transport medical samples and quarantine material with minimal risk between Xinchang County’s disease control centre and the People’s Hospital
- In China, Pudu Technology deployed its robots that are typically used in the catering industry to more than 40 hospitals around the country.
- Google’s DeepMind division used its latest AI algorithms and its computing power to understand the proteins that might make up the virus, and published the findings to help others develop treatments.
- The cloud computing resources and supercomputers of several major tech companies such as Tencent, DiDi, and Huawei are being used by researchers to fast-track the development of a cure or vaccine for the virus.
However with growing use of surveillance technology to track the spread of the coronavirus, there is a need for active efforts to confront the pandemic, but “it is also crucial that such tools be limited in use, both in terms of purpose and time, and that individual rights to privacy, non-discrimination, the protection of journalistic sources and other freedoms be rigorously protected.” This can be achieved by following the standard protocols for data anonymization to blank out personal details, and like we have Eurpean General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place in Europe, there must be protocols across the globe to limit the purpose and time frame for which the collected data should be used