As the world is grappling with COVID-19, AI is playing a crucial role in accelerating drug development against coronavirus.
It has just been over three months since the first coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. In this short span, the pandemic has claimed over 50,000 lives around the world and the infected cases have crossed a million mark. The spread of the virus is beginning to weigh on the economy, with many predicting a global financial crisis.
However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears to be the silver lining on this cloud as it is helping biotech and pharmaceutical companies to speed up drug discovery and development for COVID-19. In fact, it took just one month for a group of Chinese scientists to decode the genome sequence of the coronavirus with the help of AI tools. Scientists in Australia, meanwhile, used AI to recreate a copy of the virus in their lab.
To understand this magnificent feat, one has to look back to 2003. That was the time SARS outbreak occurred in China and spread to 16 other countries, killing over 700 people. It took several months for scientists then to decode the genome sequence of the SARs virus. This time, a combination of powerful AI technology and genomics helped scientists to complete the sequencing work in no time.