ASEAN & China

Technology to fight virus gets fast-tracked (The Star)

Drones that disinfect. Robots that talk. Artificial intelligence that can scan thousands of medical images in a flash.

These are just some of the technologies rolled out by Asian countries including Singapore and China to contain the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 6,500 people worldwide.

Technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is helping track the outbreak, clean hospitals, deliver supplies and develop vaccines, with Asian governments encouraging universities and corporations to expedite innovations.

“Sometimes the pace of innovation in emerging digital technologies can be held back by infrastructure, financing and bureaucratic constraints, ” said Jonathan Tanner, a digital consultant at the Overseas Development Institute think tank.

“When faced with a challenge like responding to the virus outbreak, there are strong incentives to overcome these constraints and put new technology to the test, ” he said.

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The Star

18 March 2020

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