5 things to know about this private coronavirus data website for global agencies

Jackie Drees -

The Collective and Augmented Intelligence Against COVID-19 alliance is developing a database to help global agencies including the World Health Organization with coronavirus research and tracking initiatives, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

Stanford (Calif.) University's Institute for Human-Centered AI and nonprofit think tank The Future Society are among the founding members of CAIAC. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also provides access to its network of scientific experts in support of the alliance.

Five things to know about the alliance's data website: 

1. The website is password-protected and not yet available to the public, but the alliance over time plans to expand access to a "wider group of policy makers and government officials," according to the report.

2. CAIAC focuses on three topics so far: contact tracing through mobile apps and AI of people confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19; how to address misinformation stemming from the pandemic; and identifying marginalized areas that are most vulnerable to the pandemic's health and economic impacts.

3. The website collects data from 80 COVID-19 sources, including the World Bank and WHO's coronavirus database. Bernardo Mariano Jr., CIO of the WHO and an advisor to the alliance, told the Journal: "We need to make sure that governments have a platform and knowledge to be able to make quick decisions."

4. Data displayed on the website is structured with easily understandable interactive graphs and visualizations and shows summaries of key questions, agreements and disagreements on various coronavirus topics.

5. The website also includes information on the numerous contact tracing apps currently used around the world to help policy makers form ethical guidelines and privacy protections by examining different officials' approaches.


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