How AI Could Predict the Outbreak of Infectious Diseases like Ebola

Disease Report AI’s potential for analyzing mountains of data is unmatched. Take one of these AIs, set it loose on all the data in existence about the deadly Ebola virus, and the result could be nothing less than an unrivaled tool in fighting the virus — one that could save lives. This was, in a nutshell, the nature of a recent investigation by ProPublica, which found that AI trained on environmental data related to Ebola was capable of flagging known outbreak areas, and even more, potential future outbreak sites previously overlooked by the government agencies and NGOs typically tasked with this sort of thing. Nigeria — which due to a swift response by its Centers for Disease Control managed to emerge relatively unscathed from the deadly West African Ebola outbreak in 2014 — harbored over half those designated locations, according to the analysis. Yet, Ebola is no longer on the country’s radar, as its government chooses to focus on monkeypox. Forest for the Trees ProPublica argues that their findings illustrate that health officials have disease control all backwards, as current practices rely too heavily on data from either after an outbreak occurs, or from outbreaks of the past. “Being proactive is the best line of defense — if you wait, a lot of people will have died before you can get yourself together,” Solomon Chieloka Okoli, a researcher for the Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Network, told ProPublica. So-called spillover areas in nature, where a disease first jumps from infected animals and into…How AI Could Predict the Outbreak of Infectious Diseases like Ebola

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