Can Artificial Intelligence solve COVID-19 problem?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to help us tackle the pressing issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not the technology itself, though, that will make the difference but rather the knowledge and creativity of the humans who use it.

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Humans have an advantage over AI, though. We are able to learn lessons from one setting and apply them to novel situations, drawing on our abstract knowledge to make best guesses on what might work or what might happen. AI systems, in contrast, have to learn from scratch whenever the setting or task changes even slightly.

The COVID-19 crisis, therefore, will highlight something that has always been true about AI: it is a tool, and the value of its use in any situation is determined by the humans who design it and use it. In the current crisis, human action and innovation will be particularly critical in leveraging the power of what AI can do.