UK’s Government’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) spends close to $2million on an Artificial Intelligence to monitor “Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency”. If this isn’t alarming, I don’t know what is. But I know there’s more to the story.
The MHRA urgently seeks an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed.
Thanks Graham Pick for the tip!
The acquisition document further provides this explanation:
“For reasons of extreme urgency under Regulation 32(2)(c) related to the release of a Covid-19 vaccine MHRA have accelerated the sourcing and implementation of a vaccine specific AI tool.
Strictly necessary — it is not possible to retrofit the MHRA’s legacy systems to handle the volume of ADRs that will be generated by a Covid-19 vaccine. Therefore, if the MHRA does not implement the AI tool, it will be unable to process these ADRs effectively. This will hinder its ability to rapidly identify any potential safety issues with the Covid-19 vaccine and represents a direct threat to patient life and public health.
Reasons of extreme urgency — the MHRA recognises that its planned procurement process for the SafetyConnect programme, including the AI tool, would not have concluded by vaccine launch. Leading to a inability to effectively monitor adverse reactions to a Covid-19 vaccine.
Events unforeseeable — the Covid-19 crisis is novel and developments in the search of a Covid-19 vaccine have not followed any predictable pattern so far.”
Beneficiary of this contract is a company named Genpact, part of a larger multi-industry group with the same name. Genpact also does Facebook moderation, which gives it access to Facebook data!
Genpact CEO is close to our old friends from WEF, of course
Here he supports using military to distribute the vaccine that will then provide work for his company:
He seems to applaud a Biden victory in the US presidentials. :
This Tyger dude basically has all the traits and inclinations of the elite mafia that set up Covidiocracy as the new business and live-stock management model for the whole world.
Genpact has acquired 23 companies, including 10 in the last 5 years. A total of 8 acquisitions came from private equity firms. Genpact’s largest acquisition to date was in 2011, when it acquired Headstrong for $550M. Genpact has acquired in 11 different US states, and 5 countries. The Company’s most targeted sectors include information technology (28%) and software (28%). – Mergr
We are funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way. Help SILVIEW.media deliver more, better, faster, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!
! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them
Before we enter the official documents, please do the following experiment: Pick any number between 10 and 1000. Write it in an online search engine, followed by “new cases”. Watch hundreds and thousands of news pieces reporting that specific number of cases in hundreds different locations, especially US. Remember that 46% of the officially reported Covid-19 fatalities in US come from New York. Compare that with the distribution in the news. If you have basic knowledge of calculus, ask yourself: How many billions people have been reported in total? What volume of work was required for all that reporting, in a time when much of the media was laid off or working from home, while the volume of events/news was never higher?
China, the first epicentre of this disease and renowned for its technological advance in this field, has tried to use this to its real advantage. Its uses seem to have included support for measures restricting the movement of populations, forecasting the evolution of disease outbreaks and research for the development of a vaccine or treatment. With regard to the latter aspect, AI has been used to speed up genome sequencing, make faster diagnoses, carry out scanner analyses or, more occasionally, handle maintenance and delivery robots (A. Chun, In a time of coronavirus, China’s investment in AI is paying off in a big way, South China Morning post, 18 March 2020).
Its contributions, which are also undeniable in terms of organising better access to scientific publications or supporting research, does not eliminate the need for clinical test phases nor does it replace human expertise entirely. The structural issues encountered by health infrastructures in this crisis situation are not due to technological solutions but to the organisation of health services, which should be able to prevent such situations occurring (Article 11 of the European Social Charter). Emergency measures using technological solutions, including AI, should also be assessed at the end of the crisis. Those that infringe on individual freedoms should not be trivialised on the pretext of a better protection of the population. The provisions of Convention 108+ should in particular continue to be applied.
The contribution of artificial intelligence to the search for a cure
The first application of AI expected in the face of a health crisis is certainly the assistance to researchers to find a vaccine able to protect caregivers and contain the pandemic. Biomedicine and research rely on a large number of techniques, among which the various applications of computer science and statistics have already been making a contribution for a long time. The use of AI is therefore part of this continuity.
The predictions of the virus structure generated by AI have already saved scientists months of experimentation. AI seems to have provided significant support in this sense, even if it is limited due to so-called “continuous” rules and infinite combinatorics for the study of protein folding. The American start-up Moderna has distinguished itself by its mastery of a biotechnology based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) for which the study of protein folding is essential. It has managed to significantly reduce the time required to develop a prototype vaccine testable on humans thanks to the support of bioinformatics, of which AI is an integral part.
Indeed, in the weeks following the appearance of the new coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, nearly 2,000 research papers were published on the effects of this new virus, on possible treatments, and on the dynamics of the pandemic. This influx of scientific literature naturally reflects the eagerness of researchers to deal with this major health crisis, but it also represents a real challenge for anyone hoping to exploit it.
Microsoft Research, the National Library of Medicine and the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) therefore presented their work on 16 March 2020, which consisted of collecting and preparing more than 29,000 documents relating to the new virus and the broader family of coronaviruses, 13,000 of which were processed so that computers could read the underlying data, as well as information on authors and their affiliations. Kaggle, a Google subsidiary and platform that usually organisesdata science competitions, created challenges around 10 key questions related to the coronavirus. These questions range from risk factors and non-drug treatments to the genetic properties of the virus and vaccine development efforts. The project also involves the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (named after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan) and Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technologies (W. Knight, Researchers Will Deploy AI to Better Understand Coronavirus, Wired, March 17, 2020).
Artificial intelligence, observer and predictor of the evolution of the pandemic
The International Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) in Slovenia, under the auspices of UNESCO, has launched an “intelligent” media watch on coronavirus called Corona Virus Media Watch which provides updates on global and national news based on a selection of media with open online information. The tool, also developed with the support of the OECD and the Event Registry information extraction technology, is presented as a useful source of information for policy makers, the media and the public to observe emerging trends related to Covid-19 in their countries and around the world.
Artificial intelligence to assist healthcare personnel
For their part, two Chinese companies have developed AI-based coronavirus diagnostic software. The Beijing-based start-up Infervision has trained its software to detect lung problems using computed tomography (CT) scans. Originally used to diagnose lung cancer, the software can also detect pneumonia associated with respiratory diseases such as coronavirus. At least 34 Chinese hospitals are reported to have used this technology to help them screen 32,000 suspected cases (T. Simonite, Chinese Hospitals Deploy AI to Help Diagnose Covid-19, Wired, February 26, 2020).
The Alibaba DAMO Academy, the research arm of the Chinese company Alibaba, has also trained an AI system to recognise coronaviruses with an accuracy claimed to be 96%. According to the company, the system could process the 300 to 400 scans needed to diagnose a coronavirus in 20 to 30 seconds, whereas the same operation would usually take an experienced doctor 10 to 15 minutes. The system is said to have helped at least 26 Chinese hospitals to review more than 30,000 cases (C. Li, How DAMO Academy’s AI System Detects Coronavirus Cases, Alizila, March 10, 2020).
In South Korea, AI is reported to have helped reduce the time needed to design testing kits based on the genetic make-up of the virus to a few weeks, when it would normally take two to three months. The biotech company Seegene used its automated test development system to develop the test kit and distribute it widely. Large-scale testing is indeed crucial to overcome containment measures and this testing policy seems to have contributed to the relative control of the pandemic in this country, which has equipped 118 medical establishments with this device and tested more than 230,000 people (I. Watson, S. Jeong, J. Hollingsworth, T. Booth, How this South Korean company created coronavirus test kits in three weeks, CNN World, March 13, 2020).
Artificial intelligence as a tool for population control
Finally, attempts at misinformation have proliferated on social networks and the Internet. Whether it concerns the virus itself, the way it spreads or the means to fight its effects, many rumours have circulated (“Fake news” and disinformation about the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, INSERM, 19 February 2020). AI is a technology already used with some effectiveness by platforms to fight against inappropriate content. UNICEF adopted a statement on 9 March 2020 on misinformation about the coronavirus in which it intends to “actively take steps to provide accurate information about the virus by working with the World Health Organization, government authorities and online partners such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, to ensure that accurate information and advice is available, as well as by taking steps to inform the public when inaccurate information appears”. The enactment of restrictive measures in Council of Europe member States to avoid fuelling public concern is also envisaged. However, the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Media Environment and Media Reform (MSI-REF) underlined in a statement of 21 March 2020 that “the crisis situation should not be used as a pretext to restrict public access to information. Nor should States introduce restrictions on media freedom beyond the limits allowed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights”. The Committee also highlights that “member States, together with all media actors, should strive to ensure an environment conducive to quality journalism”.
Artificial intelligence: an evaluation of its use in the aftermath of a crisis
Digital technology, including information technology and AI, are therefore proving to be important tools to help build a coordinated response to this pandemic. The multiple uses also illustrate the limits of what can currently be achieved by this very technology, which we cannot expect to compensate for structural difficulties such as those experienced by many health care institutions around the world. The search for efficiency and cost reduction in hospitals, often supported by information technology, should not reduce the quality of services or compromise universal access to care, even in exceptional circumstances.
It should be recalled that Article 11 of the European Social Charter (ratified by 34 of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe) establishes a right to health protection which commits the signatories “to take, either directly or in co-operation with public and private organisations, appropriate measures designed in particular to : 1°) to eliminate, as far as possible, the causes of ill-health; 2°) to provide consultation and education services for the improvement of health and the development of a sense of individual responsibility for health; 3°) to prevent, as far as possible, epidemic, endemic and other diseases, as well as accidents.”
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.