Global Data Science Forum

Applying AI and Analytics to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Government Edition

  • 1.  Applying AI and Analytics to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Government Edition

    Posted Wed June 17, 2020 03:50 PM

    We are living in unprecedented times – how can your agency or company effectively and efficiently manage your response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the ensuing economic situation?  Rapid response is paramount, and quick and proper allocation of resources will save lives, reduce hardship, and potentially speed the economic recovery.  As we start returning to work, we then need to look to using the data to ensure that our employees stay safe and, in the case of an employee with a positive COVID-19 case, apply analytics to alert others that may be at risk.  We need to collect and use the best possible information to understand our situation, inform our decisions, and optimize our responses.  

     IBM has a created a new on-line scheduled workshop to demonstrate and teach the use of AI and Analytics to the above problems.  Please see our IBM A3 Center website for more information on the initial offering of the workshop on June 24th.  For related examples of what we will be covering at the workshop, continue reading below.

    Using IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM has created a new interactive global dashboard to show the spread and rate of spread of the COVID-19 across the world.   This dashboard was launched March 26th and has seen over 340M views so far.  That is over 3M people visiting the site (available both on the web and the Weather Channel app) each day.   Citizens are anxious for information on COVID-19 and approximately 1/5 of our Weather Channel Customers engage with the COVID-19 dashboards.  Similar business intelligence technology can be used by your organization to track items specific to your organization, for example, where unemployment funding or business loans are most needed, disease statistics, and equipment availability, and CARES Stimulus funding status and disbursement rates.   

    In times of shortages, resource allocation optimization can help get the right equipment and supplies where they can make the most good.  Similarly, it can help prioritizing how money and people are assigned to tasks.  IBM's Decision Optimization team has created 2 examples and posted the related code to the web. Read about these in Alian Chabrier's articles on Medium.   Disrupted Supply Chains can also be analyzed and optimized to help reduce shortages and minimize costs.  Read more about COVID-19 and Supply Chain planning here.

    AI is already being used to understand the Corona Virus and identify drugs that might help fight COVID-19 and become a potential vaccine.   AI is also being investigated as a potential early warning sign for COVID-19 by analyzing voice recordings from individuals.  And sophisticated AI driven pattern recognition algorithms can produce Risk Assessment models of COVID-19 patients and potential patients, helping with treatment decisions and avoidance measures.

    But AI can also be employed by many organizations to help with reaching their stakeholders and user community.  For example, to provide your constituents rapid response times to their queries, a Watson powered Chatbot can help with both online and phone based questions.  Here is a video presentation on the chatbot. Robotic Automation Solutions can improve employee efficiency by automating mundane tasks, and IBM's fraud detection solutions can prevent criminals from taking advantage of government agencies that are trying to accelerate payments to individuals and small businesses. 

     In the weeks ahead, we hope to post more material to help you with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and your organization's response.  

    Write to me at fstein@us.ibm.com with your comments and ideas.



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    Frank Stein
    Director, IBM A3 Center
    IBM Public and Federal Markets
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