Coronavirus COVID-19, The Opportunities in AI & Robotics

The Coronavirus Covid-19 has been sweeping the world since the end of 2019. Since the publishing of our last post “ Coronavirus Covid-19, The opportunities in Healthcare”, there are now over 100,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths attributed to this new virus. A new oil price war sparked by the coronavirus sent shock waves through financial markets, with stocks tumbling around the world as more countries implemented measures to contain the outbreak.

← Coronavirus Covid-19, The Opportunities in Healthcare

The S&P 500 index sank 7 percent after the opening bell, triggering the first of three New York Stock Exchange “circuit breakers” that halted trading for 15 minutes. European and Asian stocks also plunged following Saudi Arabia’s salvo, which came amid a dispute among oil-producing countries about how to reduce production and sustain prices.

Covid-19 Black Monday

The supply chain industry connected to the global economy has also been greatly affected by the “epidemic”. As a major trading partner of more than 120 countries and regions in the world, the “epidemic” has directly weakened the global supply chain functions carried by China. At present, automobiles, mechanical and electrical equipment, chemicals and the mobile phone industry have been severely impacted. Some countries are accelerating decentralized supply chains to reduce their dependence on China.

Covid-19 Impact on the Chinese economy

China’s economy has been affected by the “epidemic”. Demand and production have plummeted in the short term. Investment, consumption, and exports were all significantly affected. Due to the sharp decline in residents’ out-of-town consumption, some industries were suspended by the state’s requirements, and offline consumption scenarios such as tourism, catering, and offline entertainment were hit hard.

However, the epidemic also brings different levels of opportunities and challenges to different industries. It is expected to accelerate the implementation of artificial intelligence scenarios and promote the development of unmanned factories and smart factories. Meanwhile, for the epidemic situation and medical health, there will be more subdivided AI scenarios to land. The innovations in interdisciplinary fields such as medical, emotional, social, and artificial intelligence will create a new series of products and applications.


AI empowers the battle against Coronavirus

    Contactless body temperature measurement

Application scenario: subway, airport, train station, building, and other public places

In Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport, when passengers pass by the security check, without stopping, the system will automatically detect the body temperature and reflect on the display. If it is detected that the passenger’s temperature exceeds 37.3 ° C, the system will also generate sound and light and pop-up windows. Following the airport staff can use the medical thermometer to make a second measurement and record the confirmation in the intelligent temperature measurement and screening system. And if passengers do not wear a mask when entering the subway security checkpoint of Terminal 3, the system will also automatically identify and alert.

Contactless body temperature measurement


AI-assisted diagnosis

Application scenario: hospitals

CT imaging provides important decision-making information to the diagnosis. Traditionally, the assessment method by which a doctor manually outlines the lesion area is time-consuming and inefficient. According to statistics, one CT scan of one case will produce 300 to 400 films. Doctors will only take about 5-15 minutes to read the film with the naked eye, while a single local hospital in Hubei will have 150 CT examinations of suspected patients per day. With the rapid increase in CT volume, many front-line doctors are under high pressure.

In response to the hospital’s needs for the diagnosis and treatment of Coronavirus, the “intelligent assessment system chest CT for coronavirus ” was developed. This AI system can automatically detect diseased areas and complete quantitative analysis in 2-3 seconds. At present, it is suitable for radiology, respiratory, emergency, and frontline clinical departments such as critical care. After actual clinical verification, the sensitivity of this AI system for screening is 97.3% and the specificity is 99.0%. At the same time, accurate disease assessment and efficacy evaluation can also be performed.

AI-assisted diagnosis can quickly and accurately identify patients with new coronary pneumonia, which greatly saves manpower and improves the efficiency of disease assessment.

AI-assisted diagnosis

Medical logistics, delivery, disinfection, guidance

Application scenario: hospitals, communities, etc. public areas

The logistics robots can deliver and distribute oral medicines, specimens, high-value consumables, aseptic bags, and collect recycling medical equipment.

The disinfection/delivery cabinet-type logistics robot has a built-in disinfection module. It can use light disinfection technology to ensure the environment in the cabinet is clean. At the same time, it also disinfects the materials placed in the cabinet to further prevent the spread of viruses.

A three-dimensional automatic disinfection technology for the outer surface of the robot is also being developed.  At the connection of areas with different cleanliness requirements (such as ICU, infection ward, operating room, etc.), there will be a small physical space where the robot will be automatically disinfected to meet cleanliness requirements.

The disinfection robot is an intelligent, efficient and safe medical device specially developed for the disinfection of the hospital environment. It can replace humans to perform UV disinfection with UV lamps and hydrogen peroxide vapor in areas such as hospital hotspots and isolation of wards, which can effectively kill bacteria and virus in the air, improve the hygienic environment of the hospital, reduce the spread of infectious diseases, and avoid the risk of cross-infection.

Medical logistics robot

AI implementation will be further accelerated

Affected by the epidemic, many industries have experienced unprecedented changes. AI education, AI streaming/short video, unmanned driving, AI retail, etc. AI integrated industries are expected to see huge development opportunities. The coronavirus epidemic allows people to have a better understanding of AI. Pilots of innovative applications of artificial intelligence during the epidemic have cultivated new user habits, which will also promote the full development of the related industries.

AI in education

During the epidemic, primary and secondary schools did not start school as scheduled. In response to the Ministry of Education’s call, different institutions and schools launched a variety of online live broadcasts, recording and broadcasting classes, and hundreds of millions of students swarmed online. The online advantage breaks through the limitation of time and space, and also the limitation of quantity. The methods of online courses are gradually diversified. There are recorded classes, live classes, graphics, audio animation, which can meet the needs of different students. Al technology will shape a more customized education for individual students. This helps to improve the quality of teaching, learning and promote balanced and affordable education.

At the same time, artificial intelligence has entered the field of education in all aspects of teaching, learning, and evaluation. Related products and services include functions such as camera search, layered lesson scheduling, foreign language speaking assessment, group marking, essay review. These products involve adaptive algorithms, speech recognition, computer vision, knowledge map, natural language processing, machine translation, machine learning, and many other artificial intelligence technologies.

AI for education

AI in industrial production

Compared to labor-intensive industries, the more highly automatic factories with integrated AI, big data, IOT technologies have been less affected by the coronavirus.

AI will become more widespread and penetrate into all aspects of industrial production. The unmanned operation of industrial terminals and a large amount of heterogeneous data accumulated during the operation are further interconnected and transmitted to the cloud center through 5G. The on-device AI and cloud AI will drive the analytics, interactions and form the AI virtuous circle, which further improves the efficiency of industrialization.

China’s manufacturing industry faces multiple internal and external pressures. Internal effects include rising labor costs, rising raw material costs, environmental pressures, and market saturation. External pressures come from trade frictions, tariff barriers, technological blockades, embargoes on equipment and key components, etc. from developed countries, and competition from low-cost emerging countries in India and Southeast Asia. With increasing internal and external pressures, improving efficiency, ensuring quality, reducing costs, and energy conservation and environmental protection have become the direction of China’s manufacturing upgrade and transformation. The application of artificial intelligence technology in the manufacturing industry will help China’s manufacturing industry to reach these goals.

AI industrial production

AI in streaming/short video

The number of users and the average duration of the short video industry surged during the Spring Festival. On the evening of January 27, CCTV broadcasted live on the construction process of Vulcan Mountain Hospital and Raytheon Mountain Hospital, and over 90 million people on the internet competed to be “cloud supervisors”. The short video industry is no longer a simple video sharing but is truly integrated into people’s lives.

Artificial intelligence plays a role in the production, promotion, and material collection of the short video industry. “AI + Video” can independently complete the initial cut, fine cut, post-packaging, rendering export, and release from the collection of materials to the video, and assist users to create videos through AI. AI short videos are rapidly changing the entire business ecosystem.

AI in “Contactless” new retail

Fresh e-commerce and takeaway platforms, online and unmanned traditional supermarkets, etc., have injected new business opportunities for the development of new retail and new formats. Comparing to 2019’s spring festival, JD’s Home Delivery sales of grain and oil non-staple food products increased by 740%, meat products increased by 710%, snack foods increased by 530%, vegetables increased by 440%, and fruits increased by 380%. The supply of HE MA vegetables has increased by 50% compared to the highest peak single day, and hundreds of thousands of vegetables are sold a day. There is no supermarket in the epidemic area of ​​Vulcan Mountain Hospital. There are no clerks and cashiers, and you can scan and pay immediately when you buy something at the unmanned shop.

Al technology empowers the retail industry, and smart retail drives new retail formats in the market with big data and smart technologies, optimizing the resource allocation of the entire industry chain from production, circulation to sales.

AI E-payment at the door

Unmanned drive

Unmanned taxis can effectively avoid cross-infection, ensure transportation capacity in the coronavirus epidemic situation, and can operate in the most severely affected areas, especially for transporting patients, medical personnel and related security supplies.

The epidemic further shows the huge social value of unmanned driving. Many technology companies have started delivery and distribution services by unmanned driving vehicles in hospitals and residential communities. Special self-driving vehicles for cleaning and disinfection have also been applied on the streets.

Further development of AI

Strong interaction, security, cloud computing, and multi-field integration will be the four major trends in the development of artificial intelligence in the future. Future intelligent applications focus on experience, and human-computer interaction such as visual interaction, somatosensory interaction, and voice interaction will be the market development trend in the future.

The ethics and governance of artificial intelligence have gradually become a hotspot for technological development, requiring companies to develop artificial intelligence technology safely, reliably, and sustainably. The combination of artificial intelligence technology and cloud computing technologies such as SaaS provides artificial intelligence solutions for a wider range of users in more fields. The development momentum of automated machine learning and intelligent applications will be the strongest demand. Multi-field integration and scenario implementation are the future AI technology breakthrough points.

In the post-epidemic era, industries such as intelligent education, intelligent robots, and AI advertising marketing will further improve. It is expected that in the future of the artificial intelligence industry chain, data, sensors, AI chips, smart cities, smart medical treatment, human-machine dialogue, unmanned driving, intelligent robots, and intelligent customer service will have more room to grow.