Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is to give medical personnel access to cloud and AI applications useful in the fight against coronavirus.
One such application involves Dingtalk, an Alibaba platform for communication and collaboration intended for use in an enterprise situation. During the coronavirus pandemic, the app is also being used to keep students in touch with teachers (which they are not always thrilled about). The International Medical Expert Communication Platform has been created on the platform to enable free communication for medical workers with doctors in China who have been on the frontline of the pandemic. The communication is facilitated by real-time AI language translation into 11 languages including Chinese, English, French and Arabic.
Three more initiatives have been developed by DAMO Academy, meanwhile, which is a research and development programme instituted in 2017 - at which time the company promised to put $15bn into the project over the ensuing three years. The initials in the name stand for discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook.
The Epidemic Prediction Solution offers a means of modeling the spread of coronavirus in a region to gain estimates of the size, duration and peak of an outbreak. Using machine learning, the algorithm, which has been tested against real world data from 31 Chinese provinces, was found to be98% accurate. Also using machine learning is the company’s CT Image Analytics Solution, which can predict the probability of different types of pneumonia to help with the diagnosis of coronavirus. A genome sequencing algorithm has also been made available to aid in the study and diagnosis of coronavirus.
Finally, Alibaba Cloud is the ecommerce giant’s infrastructure-as-a-service provider, offering enterprise access to a suite of cloud computing services. The service is offering scalable supercomputing power for the design of drugs and diagnosis of the disease.
Former Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has, in recent days, been burnishing his philanthropic credentials by donating supplies to locations across the world, including the US and Europe, via his charitable foundation.