AI-Powered Systems Can Now Predict Pandemics Before They Hit Us

September 29, 2021 | 2 minutes read

Researchers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict pandemics by finding out which animal virus is going to affect humans next.

At the University of Glasgow in the UK, the researchers have created an AI-powered system that can identify which disease is going to jump up next from the animal kingdom to cause human infections.In the wake of this discovery, humans cannot only curtail the infections from spreading but can also generate the relevant treatments to save human lives.

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Image Credits: Unsplash

In this research, the scientists have put together a database of more than 800 viruses known to have zoonotic qualities (the viruses that can cause diseases in humans as well as animals are said to have Zoonotic qualities) and trained the AI system to interpret their unique genomic structures. According to the press release this AI system worked. Undoubtedly this is the best example of Artificial Intelligence doing its job because with the inclusion of COVID-19 thousands of other viruses that affect humans have been traced back to animal diseases. 

For scientists and researchers, it has been difficult for centuries  to find out which animal-based diseases can affect humans too. Glasgow’s team of researchers although is trying to make this task easy for the future as per their research paper:

“Determining which animal viruses may be capable of infecting humans is currently intractable at the time of their discovery, precluding prioritization of high-risk viruses for early investigation and outbreak preparedness. Given the increasing use of genomics in virus discovery and the otherwise sparse knowledge of the biology of newly discovered viruses, we developed machine learning models that identify candidate zoonoses solely using signatures of host range encoded in viral genomes.”

From treating brain diseases to curing cancer AI  has totally transformed the landscape of healthcare.The development AI-powered systems have surely made the the healthcare industry, faster and efficient. The AI technology is opening new avenues in the field of medical history and making the impossible things possible.