New Zealand Researchers Use New Algorithms To Manage Bird Flu

(MENAFN- IANS) Wellington, June 18 (IANS) New Zealand researchers use new algorithms to speed up response times to serious biosecurity and epidemic threats such as bird flu.

University of Canterbury Associate Professor of Data Science Alex Gavryushkin is co-leading work to develop technology that could provide real-time predictions in response to health and biosecurity events.

"Our algorithms can present a range of possible outbreak scenarios, rather than just the one that's the most statistically plausible, as well as updating their predictions in real time," Gavryushkin said on Monday.

Using the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to inform transmission tracking systems, the technology can use epidemiological and genetic data to track the transmission and spread of the disease, updating the likelihoods of these scenarios as new data emerges, in a situation like the Avian influenza, reports Xinhua news agency.

"With this new technology results can be updated in real-time, revising previous calculations," Gavryushkin said, adding science can be applied at the scale needed to protect both biosecurity-sensitive industries and livelihoods.

"Once we have this efficient infrastructure for biosecurity algorithms in place, we will be in a far better position to prevent problems further down the track by doing the difficult, time-consuming pre-computations early on, including before outbreaks start and in parallel to them," he said.

New Zealand is a small population with a high dependence on biology-rooted industries, he said, adding applying powerful AI algorithms supports health, growth and innovation in a large global economy.

Gavryushkin collaborates with researchers from the University of Auckland, Massey University, the University of Otago and the Environmental Science and Research on this project.



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