Tom Siebel on how Pandemic Tech is Helping us Get our Arms around Covid-19

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Carol Massar and Jason Kelly had a Bloomberg podcast with Tom Siebel, the serial entrepreneur behind Siebel Systems, the CRM juggernaut of the 1990s and C3.ai.

We covered Tom most recently in an article about C3.ai and it’s focus on IoT and machine learning.

Now the company has a grander mission – helping with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He says precision medicine will be one of the biggest commercial applications of AI. It will be used for disease prediction, adverse drug reaction genome-specific medical protocols and AI-assisted diagnosis.

“Now enter COVID, he said. “This is a really unique opportunity to apply AI to contribute to this dialogue.” Everybody is just guessing at what the morbidity rate is. Experts with the same level of expertise vary greatly on their morbidity rate predictions placing policymakers in a bind.

As a result, they formed a coalition called the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute with Microsoft. and we found a dish with Microsoft and funded it to have $400 million.

They aggregated the human capital at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton University Chicago, the University of Illinois and UC Berkeley, to engage in large scale research on applying AI to mitigate COVID-19.

This is AI and machine learning models to mitigate disease, bioinformatics modeling and simulation of propagation.

In order to perform data science, in order to get accurate predictions, scientists need data.

What they have done in the past month is taken the two largest data sources that are available in the world about COVID-19 from Johns Hopkins, The New York Times, The Milken Institute and others.

This data consists of CT scans, mortality data, comorbidity, course of disease, and they have aggregated the data into a unified federated image made available and called the C3.AI COVID 19 data lake. We’ve made this resource available to the world at no cost to be able to do research.

“This is by far the world’s largest corpus of COVID data available researchers,” he exclaimed. “This is being powered by our friends at AWS who provided the cloud platform to do it. And I think this will be an enormously important resource for people to research, understand the course of the disease and control this epidemic and other epidemics like it.”

Most importantly Tom thinks we will be able to use AI and big data to help fight the disease so we can get back on flights and theatres, etc. allowing us to pursue more normal lives until a vaccine is discovered.

“This is a natural application of artificial intelligence and data science, and now we’re aggregating the data, so people can make better informed, more accurate decisions and more, more accurate policy decisions,” he concluded.

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