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New NSF Program Studying Use of AI to Enable Early Disease Outbreak Detection; Katharina Dittmar Quoted

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The National Science Foundation has launched a program that seeks to use artificial intelligence-based technologies for early disease outbreak detection to help contain transmission and prevent pandemics like the ongoing one, FedScoop reported Wednesday.

The Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention program is focused on research into algorithms that are needed for the development of AI systems for pandemic forecasting.

Katharina Dittmar, program director of the Environmental Biology Division at NSF, said intelligent prediction needs new AI models that are capable of identifying the biological and sociological causes of pathogen emergence.

"We all recognize from the past year, from our experience that our approach to this continued challenge must really evolve away from crisis response during discrete outbreaks toward a sustained and integrated cycle of intelligent prediction, preparation, response and recovery," said Dittmar.

NSF has hosted four workshops in support of the PIPP initiative since February.