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AI-powered contract tracing and how it helped during Covid-19 crisis

Traditional methods of contract tracing can be quite daunting especially in a densely populated country like ours. AI steps in to make the job easier by offering location data of infected people and data on those people who have been in close proximity to infected individuals.

To understand contact tracing for COVID-19 via AI we need to rewind a bit ­— say you walked by H&M store yesterday at a mall -> Instagram picked up your location and the next day when you were browsing the internet at home -> A ‘shop from hmonline’ ad was delivered to your device. This ad delivery was made possible using the data picked by the Identifier for Advertising (IFA) cookie on phone along with your age, gender or what we call demographics as well as your behavioural data i.e., likes and dislikes or psychographics.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 was made possible by Infinite Analytics when we changed every person in the above advt. into a Point of Interest. So every person became the physical H&M store as well as a passer-by. This enabled us to know who came in contact with whom by studying their location.

Instead of laboriously scouring tons of data to identify those who came in contact with infected individuals, AI helps in instant contact tracing by using the mobile phone location and warn those who may have been exposed to the virus.

Location Intelligence

AI’S Location Intelligence tools help in identifying the location of the infected people and their movement pattern. This has been helpful in reducing the rate of infection and deaths. Besides, geo-enabled field and data capture tools help in collating accurate data, thereby aiding the government which is short on health and other staff to be dedicated towards the containment of the virus. Infinite Analytics helped get a grip of data from 30 municipalities where 109,105,049 people were traced, and 14,750 hotspots were observed continuously across 23 states in India.

Movement within and outside of containment zones

The densely populated Dharavi example of ‘Chasing the Virus’ was praised by many. Municipal corporators of Dharavi do not live there and don’t know about the dweller movements. We worked extensively with the local authorities and through Meta Mobility Data Analysis we found that despite clear demarcation of containment zones, people from one zone were still going on to the other zones as not all zones have a toilet. They were also going to other zones to buy milk for example. After this information came to light necessary measures were taken to stop such movements by making each containment zone self-sufficient.

AI powered drones have also helped in regulating any violation of rules in containment zones in Odisha. This was possible with the liaison of the state health department and the IT industry. In Telangana, too, a software tool was installed in CCTV cameras for police to spot those who were not wearing masks. When such individuals are spotted, an alert is sounded at to the police headquarters from where the patrol team is notified to take necessary action.

The state of Kerala first used AI-powered no-contact ‘Thermal and Optical Imaging Camera’ for fever screening. Kerala also uses robots to deliver hand sanitizers, public health messages in office buildings and isolation wards.

What started as a marketing tool has thus helped immensely during a humanitarian crisis. A more apt example of applied AI is yet to be seen.

Video editing and film-making

If you have ever been in the business of video editing, especially when a famous celebrity was involved, and no matter how much you try to salvage the video, you cannot; deepfakes will help with that clip and your video will be made uninterrupted. Earlier, movie directors would spend millions on creating the perfect location for their movies. This is now achievable with a far lesser sum using deepfake and AI. Deepfakes can be real game-changers in film-making. Imagine new movies starring Charlie Chaplin opening to full houses. This, ofcourse, after all the copyright issues are taken into consideration..

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wasim basir

marketing, board member

It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.

rich arnold

board member

Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.

pravin gandhi

board member

Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.

Purushotham Botla

co-founder & cto

Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.

deb-roy

Deb Roy

Executive Director, MIT Media Lab

Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.

Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.

Erik Brynjolfsson

Board Member

Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Akash Bhatia

Co-Founder and CEO

Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.