How Artificial Intelligence can Speed up the Invention of a COVID-19 Vaccine?

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It has been a hot topic of discussion about how Artificial Intelligence can speed up the invention of a COVID-19 vaccine!

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates how Artificial Intelligence can do a world of good in the race to find a vaccine. AI can do two important roles in this mission. One is to suggest the components of a vaccine by understanding the viral protein structures. The other one is helping medical researchers to scrutinize thousands of relevant research papers at an incredibly fast pace. Over the last few weeks, teams at the Allen Institute for AI and Google DeepMind have created AI tools, shared data sets and research papers freely with the global scientific community.

The type of vaccine researchers targeting for COVID-19 is nucleic acid vaccines which inject genetic material of the pathogen into human cells to stimulate an immune response. Artificial Intelligence is useful in accelerating the development of nucleic acid vaccines.

Google DeepMind, The University of Texas and University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design are the firms used Artificial Intelligence based computer models to develop 3D atomic-scale models of the COVID spike protein. They are now progressing on this work by creating new proteins to neutralize coronavirus. What will happen here is, these proteins would stick to the spike protein and prevent virus from infecting healthy cells. Thousands of other research labs are doing similar type of experiments all around the world. It is hard to understand the findings and discoveries other centers are making and analyze the results to come in to a final conclusion.

It may save years of experiments and research time if each individual labs are ready to cooperate on an AI-based analysis platform with their results and findings. As several research papers appeared during the first months of COVID and more to come sooner, the available data on COVID research is having a huge volume, velocity, and variety. Once analyzed this collected data with the help of AI and converted into a machine-readable format, researchers can speed up the process of finding an effective COVID vaccine to save many lives.


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