UNSW Professor Toby Walsh, one of Australia’s leading AI researchers, recently spoke to Michelle Tapper from the Australian Academy of Science about how AI is being used around the world to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Walsh says AI can be used in testing, tracing and treating COVID-19. In fact, the very first indication that we might be heading for a pandemic came from an AI program developed by the Canadian company BlueDot. BlueDot were monitoring social media and the newswires, and identified that there was an unusual outbreak of pneumonia around the Wuhan region. This was nine days before WHO warned us that there might be a pandemic about to start.

In this interview, Professor Walsh also discusses how AI tools are monitoring outbreaks. A team in South Australia is building drones and using computer vision to identify people that are coughing in a crowd or reading their temperatures allowing the identification of people that may need to be monitored.

Watch the interview:

AI alerted us: The Latest From Science with Professor Toby Walsh