We can all certainly agree that the ability to predict the spread of COVID-19 is super important. The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to be showing any meaningful signs of stopping. Not having some sort of prediction to work with leads to overcrowded hospitals, more lock-downs, and more death. Facebook is wanting to help. The social media titan is thinking it can use AI to get this job done. Facebook recently published a paper about an Artificial intelligence method that it’s using to predict the spread of the COVID-19. Facebook’s system is able to predict infections 2 weeks in advance. The company explains that it’s able to do so by accounting for how COVID-19 works, along with social factors.
So, in its model, Facebook is taking into consideration COVID-19’s traits. First, The company also trained its software with county case data and other anonymously sourced data. Then, that helped the algorithm consider things like social distancing and an individual’s transportation means. Facebook chose to use a ‘neural autoregressive model.’ This was to separate regional properties in the data.
Facebook is publishing forecast every week, now. The Humanitarian Data Exchange has Facebook’s reports. For now, it only applies to the United States. Soon, however, the company plans to bring this forecast to Europe. Across the pond, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya will be partnering with Facebook to take on this mission. US forecasts will be included in the European reports. This is so the European Commission can better understand how global COVID-19 hotspots work.