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Alibaba Claims AI Can Identify Coronavirus Patients With 96% Accuracy

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Alibaba developed an artificial intelligence (AI) capable of detecting new Coronavirus infections with 96% accuracy, Nikkei Asian Review reported, and the diagnostics system based on this AI is expected to be rolled out to more than 100 hospitals.

The AI is said to be able to differentiate between COVID-19 cases and viral pneumonia with 96% accuracy when analyzing computerized tomography (CT) scans. It's much faster than humans, too, because it can make a diagnosis in 20 seconds.

Researchers trained the AI on more than 5,000 confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). It also uses "the latest treatment guidelines and recently published research," Nikkei Asian Review said, in its efforts to diagnose COVID-19 infections.

The hope is that being able to diagnose COVID-19 cases faster will allow hospitals in China to deal with the influx of people who might be infected with the virus. That could in turn speed up treatment times and, potentially, help contain COVID-19.

That would be good news for the tech industry. Coronavirus has been blamed for various tech show cancellations, potential component shortages (as well as resulting PC supply issues) and weakened demand from Chinese consumers.

The AI was technically developed at the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook (DAMO Academy) that Alibaba established in 2017 with an initial commitment of $15 billion to be spent over the following three years.