The VinBrain team in the US has reached the final round of the Pandemic Response Challenge held by XPRIZE and Cognizant.


This competition, which has prize money of $500,000, aims to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence to predict COVID-19 infection rates, and propose Intervention Plans for governments, communities and regional institutions to control COVID-19 Pandemic when reopening the economy.


HANOI, VIETNAM - Media OutReach - 24 February 2021 - The Pandemic Response Challenge co-organised by XPRIZE and Cognizant was launched in November 2020. Participating teams will develop models based on artificial intelligence to make recommendations to achieve the goal of reopening society safely and limit negative impacts on the economy while minimising the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak.


Based on the jury's independent assessment of the AI prediction of the COVID-19 trend and the infection patterns of the participating teams, the jury selected 48 teams from 17 countries for the final round out of a total of 104 teams from 28 countries in the semi-finals.


Thanks to the guidance by Mr. Mudit Jain -- the Deputy General Director of VinBrain Product Development in the United States, the Vinteam team has developed a solution applying artificial intelligence to the accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 infections and provides intervention options.


The infection patterns vary by country and territory. As a result, interventions may work in one country or territory but be less effective in another.


Members of VinBrain in the US have come up with an extensive solution to this problem by developing the region-specific AI models to predict the COVID-19 infection time series in those regions. The Vinteam developed this solution based on a classical epidemic model called the SEIR model,  which was then expanded to integrate with artificial intelligence to turn it into a dynamic model. In order to train its AI models, the team uses available features/data such as demographics, medical infrastructure, and economic indicators. A special feature used by Vinteam is Google Maps mobile metrics collected from worldwide Android phones in an anonymous and secure way, measuring the movements of people in public areas such as parks, hospitals, workplaces, grocery stores, stations, airports, etc. Another unique feature used by Vinteam is Google's COVID-19 infection trend data which is aggregated anonymously and contains popular COVID-19 Symptom-Related Google Searches.


The jury selected Vinteam for the final round based on the accuracy of the AI ​​models and its ability to easily interpret the predictions of the solution. In addition, this approach can be used for any future pandemic response model.


Mr. Amir Banifatemi, General Manager for Innovation and Growth, said: "We aim to maximise the power of collaboration, competition and innovation to accelerate possible solutions for COVID-19 and future pandemics. The competition has shown encouraging results in a very short time, reflecting the application of artificial intelligence to the society."


The Pandemic Response Challenge is sponsored by XPRIZE, which designs and operates incentive competitions to solve humanity's grand challenges, in partnership with Cognizant, which is considered one of 15 iconic companies in the US, operating extensively in the field of information technology, developing business processes and consulting cooperation for some of the most successful units worldwide. The organisers also hope the competition will promote the use of artificial intelligence and data in tackling other humanitarian challenges. The competition's results will be announced at the end of February 2021.


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