White House, Alongside Private Sector Partners, Release COVID-19 Database for AI Application

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) received extensive, machine readable coronavirus data and is now asking artificial intelligence (AI) experts to accelerate answers to high-priority COVID-19 questions from the science community.

“Decisive action from America’s science and technology enterprise is critical to prevent, detect, treat, and develop solutions to COVID-19. The White House will continue to be a strong partner in this all hands-on-deck approach,” U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios, said in a March 16 briefing.

Coordinated by Georgetown University, Microsoft, NLM, CZI, and the Allen Institute for AI created the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) to bring together scholarly literature on COVID-19 and transform it into a machine-readable form ready for analysis. The CORD-19 data is available through Kaggle and openly available to researchers around the world.

Key coronavirus research questions that the White House is hoping to answer include:

  • What do we know about virus genetics, origin, and evolution?
  • What is known about transmission, incubation, and environmental stability?
  • What do we know about COVID-19 risk factors?
  • What do we know about vaccines and therapeutics?
  • What do we know about non-pharmaceutical interventions?

One of the most immediate and impactful applications of AI is in the ability to help scientists, academics, and technologists find the right information in a sea of scientific papers to move research faster. We applaud the OSTP, WHO [World Health Organization], NIH [National Institutes of Health] and all organizations that are taking a proactive approach to use the most advanced technology in the fight against COVID-19,” Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, said about the project.