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What is AI?
AI is of course Artificial Intelligence and although it is still a far cry from what we have seen in science fiction, both on screen and books, it has come forward a great deal over the last few years. This includes algorithms, robotics, voice recognition devices such as Siri and Alexa.
What is COVID-19
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus is a newly discovered disease which has spread and caused a great deal of panic across the world.
Many governments, organisations and workplaces across the world are hoping to prevent and slow down the spread of the disease by social distancing and lockdowns on non-essential personnel and workforce.
Manufacture of Medicine and Vaccines
Medicines and vaccines have always needed a human at the helm and then trial and error. During the 20th century with the advent of computers, programs and simulations this created a whole new way of working and understanding with creating new medicine and vaccines.
Currently the majority of pharma and biotech companies rely on automated algorithms which before relied on a person. Around 70% of these companies believe that the development of AI within this field is very important. As machine vision systems are superior in detecting and far quicker in analysis to find which drugs and treatments seem to be working and will in turn pass these onto human researchers for more detailed studies. This also creates a more streamlined process and one where the researchers can focus more on those that are working. It also reduces the costs and risks involved to the researchers and companies.
These algorithms have even been used in the remote monitoring of patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Reducing assessments from 30 minutes to three minutes. This can allow a doctor to remotely monitor patients and set new drug doses. The increased development of AI like this could even help future outbreaks like the current COVID-19.
AI and the Workforce
Machines have worked alongside humans for nearly as long as humans have had an assembly line.
These assembly lines have only gotten better over the years to the point that some companies have only a handful of staff compared to their robotic workforce. And this is not just limited to machines we are used to seeing on car adverts doing the assembling process! Which during the current climate does improve the odds of the workforce not contracting COVID-19.
One of the growing roles is actually in Quality and Control checks, machine vision systems are able to detect faults and imperfections normally not noticed by human eyes or which would need to be tested with a machine by said human.
As within the medical field AI helps to streamline manufacture and not just within the obvious means. There is also a great role for algorithms within this workspace as well. These algorithms are used in the prediction of maintenance, sales predictions, supply chain management, design and simulations. This streamlined system can reduce a lot of costs for the company but can also increase the productivity and speed in which the production process and dispatch of completed items can take.
During the COVID-19 many companies have switched out production of their traditional products to make products that can be of more use during this outbreak. For example the vacuum company switching to ventilators, the 58 Gin company creating hand-sanitizer and car companies creating face masks. AI will have had a hand in a lot of this, altering normal production algorithms to fit with what is now required, analyzing new data and new supply chains.