AI can predict where epidemics will happen

AI can predict where epidemics will happen

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We’ve seen how autonomous drones could be used to protect human populations from mosquito-borne outbreaks, and now artificial intelligence is predicting where human epidemics can occur. AIME (Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology) has developed a Dengue Outbreak Prediction platform that predicts outbreaks of the potentially fatal disease three months in advance.

The AI algorithm combines epidemiological research with other data known to impact the spread of insect-borne disease, such as population density, wind speed and direction, rain volume, housing types, and more. It then calculates a percentage of outbreak probability in a given area. The platform determines the epicenter of a spreading disease within a 400 meter radius, and this will be the crucial area that health officials look to contain and monitor.

Having successfully trialled their platform with 87 percent accuracy in dengue fever outbreaks, the team hopes to target other highly contagious diseases, such as Ebola or the Zika virus. Could AI algorithms be used to predict other scenarios of concern to public safety, such as riots?


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