Artificial Intelligence to Fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic

By Bikas Jha, Country Head, RealNetworksSince 2014, Bikas has been working to establish and grow RealNetworks' Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) Based Products, like Facial Recognition, ML in A2P Messaging, IoT and SAAS Based Product and Services to vast market

These are one of most difficult times for human being. Last time such challenges faced by the world were during the Second World War. Current times are more difficult because it has halted the fast-moving life. People locked at home for long time has deep psychological challenges and coming months are not going to be same as past.

New normal will be very different, however use of technology can make the post Covid-19 life somewhat better. Future investment in technology will be aimed at improving human lives by saving them from infection

Wearing Masks in Public
Wearing masks are already mandatory in many countries including India. We can already see changes visible in habits when people walk out for buying essential during the lockdown. Simultaneously, technology companies have started thinking how to being in enhancement in lifestyle with above factors in mind.

Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in one of the key areas worth mentioning. Now we have image processing software which cannot only detect masks on face but can also recognize faces with masks. Such software when attached to existing CCTV network, can generate alerts/alarms when someone is not wearing masks.

Social Distancing & Contact Tracing
Maintaining social distancing while out in markets, parks or even during simple walk is advisable for masses. New AI based software again connected to CCTV network will be able to count people in frame. If number of people found more than limit to maintain social distancing, the software can immediately
generate recorded public announcement to maintain social distancing.

Such software will be very useful at markets, railway stations airports, temple etc. It is interesting that all such tracking will be automatic and without of human intervention. By using CCTV network connected with face detection software, can do contact tracing for infected people, help expanding the testing for Covin-19.

Work or Study from Home in new era
Work from home is no more a luxury but necessity after Corona Virus invasion. It brings huge opportunities for technology companies to enhance their network for increasing bandwidth.

There are opportunities for companies involved in video streaming to develop new codec for transcoding high bit rate videos to lower bit rate videos without compromising quality

There are opportunities for companies involved in video streaming to develop new codec for transcoding high bit rate videos to lower bit rate videos without compromising quality. Companies involved in laying fibre optic network will have high demand to feed the growing requirements from home.

Increase demand for Smartphones
With useful apps like 'Arogya-Setu' to counter Covid-19, government soon expect people to have this app in their phones. India has less than 35 per cent smartphone users. Rest are feature phone users who cannot use such apps. Most of the smartphone companies have Chinese origin, will have less acceptability. Indian technology companies will have opportunity to develop affordable smartphones for the feature phone users.

Entertainment & Hospitality Industry
With cinema halls, theatres and restaurants may be the last ones to be opened after the lock down is over. All such industry will have to bring in confidence to people.

Heat sensing cameras will help the people with fever, and they can be singled out for further investigation. Some technology organizations have developed green sanitizers, tunnels having sensors which can spray sanitizers from all angles when people entering doors.

Contactless Attendance & Entry System
Touch based biometric attendance systems is things of past. The new attendance systems will have to be contact less and face recognition-based attendance system there to rescue.

Further, face recognition-based door lock will help people to avoid touching handles, those are major source of infection. This technology will also help access control of people move into unauthorised access.

There is specific technological advancement in the field of health care. Newer and smaller ventilators are already been tested for approval. New materials and polymers are being tested for light and better PPE kits and masks. No doubt technology will help people to overcome the challenges for times for new normal.