How Alibaba is Using AI to Save The Day

Apr 9, 2020 | AR & VR, Health | 0 comments

In the ongoing fight against the outbreak of Covid-19, Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, has stepped up. If you’re not familiar with it, Alibaba is kind of like Amazon, Microsoft, a gaming provider, and a healthcare network, all rolled into one – and integrated into a highly advanced AI system. Now, Alibaba’s new Covid-19 test has proven that it’s effective with 96% accuracy- and it’s all thanks to AI. 

Is Alibaba’s 96% accuracy good enough? 

In a report from Nikkei’s Asian review, Alibaba claims that it’s system can detect the virus from CT scans of suspected patients tests with 96% accuracy, especially when compared to viral pneumonia cases. It only takes 20 seconds for the AI to make its decision, vs humans who take an average of 15 minutes to diagnose the virus. 

The AI system was trained on images and data from over 5000 cases from hospitals in China. According to the report, around 100 healthcare facilities are now using Alibaba’s AI. But is 96% accuracy good enough? Most likely yes, the tests should also be followed up by a blood test, nasal or throat swab, so the AI’s initial diagnosis can be confirmed. Don’t forget – humans are never 100% accurate either. 

Alternative Covid-19 testing solutions

Rival, Ping An, another healthcare company, recently announced quite a similar project. Their co-president and chief strategy officer, Geoff Kau, released a statement:  

“Since its launch, the smart image-reading system has provided services to more than 1,500 medical institutions. More than 5,000 patients have received smart image-reading services for free. The system can generate smart analysis results in around 15 seconds, with an accuracy rate above 90%.” 

Can Ai Really Help In The Fight Against Covid-19? 

Artificial intelligence is already being used in various healthcare facilities. It makes diagnoses, testing, and various other practices vastly more efficient. Furthermore, while it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of human error, it does limit it. When something is trained to work with very specific data, without getting tired or needing a break or a cup of coffee, of course it will eventually begin to outperform humans. 

alibaba jack ma covid 19

Jack Ma Is Funding Covid-19 Tests and Donating Them.

Supplying healthcare facilities with AI testing isn’t all that Alibaba is doing to help with the outbreak. Jack Ma, the company’s co-founder, has also begun donating Covid-19 test kits to those countries that are in short supply around the world. The billionaire, through his philanthropic organization, the Jack Ma Foundation, took on the task of sending more than 1.1 million test kits, 100,000 masks, and 1,000 protective suits to the African continent, to be distributed equally. 

With Alibaba’s new AI Covid-19 test being effective with 96% accuracy, and Jack Ma’s philanthropic donations, the company is really doing it’s part to flatten the curve. 

alibaba helps covid-19

Ai Can Help Slow The Spread Of Covid-19 

Alibaba’s new AI Covid-19 test is effective with 96% accuracy, and that means that AI is helping flatten the curve of the virus. Already, they’ve begun providing the service to around 100 hospitals in China, and hopefully it’ll spread to some other crisis-stricken areas soon. Currently, the US has been the hardest hit by the virus – with more than 400,000 cases. 

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