Executives from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook met officials at Downing Street on Wednesday to discuss their role in the coronavirus crisis.
One of the things discussed was their role in “modelling and tracking data”.
In similar meetings at the White House, meanwhile, companies were asked how they could use artificial intelligence.
A World Health Organization report last month said AI and big data were a key part of China’s response to the virus.
Facebook is already working with researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health and the National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan, sharing anonymised data about people’s movements and high-resolution population density maps, which help them forecast the spread of the virus.
The social network is also helping partners understand how people are talking about the issue online, via tools such as Crowdtangle, which aggregate social-media posts.
In the past, Google search data has been used to track infectious diseases.
To help people who want to track their own health, meanwhile, Google’s life-science research arm, Verily is developing a small body-worn temperature patch that transmits data to a phone app.
“This could be especially useful in elderly populations, where viral infections have higher rates of morbidity and mortality,” blogged chief executive Sundar Pichai.
Source: BBC NEWS