SOUTH KOREA - Artificial Intelligence Fights Pandemic

Arno Froese

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in the global systems for pandemic and epidemic intelligence,” said WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in May.

“Viruses move fast. But data can move even faster,” he said.

Right from the start, AI has helped us learn about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infections.

It’s helped scientists analyze the virus’ genetic information—its DNA—at speed. DNA is the stuff that makes the virus, indeed any living thing, what it is. And if you want to defend yourself, you had better know your enemy.

AI has also helped scientists understand how fast the virus mutates and helped them develop and test vaccines.

One of the most important things we’ve had to handle is finding out who is infected—fast. And in South Korea, artificial intelligence gave doctors a head start.

Way back when the rest of the world was still wondering whether it was time to go into the first lockdown, a company in Seoul used AI to develop a COVID-19 test—in mere weeks. It would have taken them months without AI.

It was “unheard of,” said Youngsahng “Jerry” Suh, head of data science and AI development at the company, Seegene, in an interview with DW.

Seegene’s scientists ordered raw materials for the kits on January 24 and by February 5, the first version of the test was ready.

It was only the third time the company had used its supercomputer and Big Data analysis to design a test.

But they must have done something right because by mid-March 2020, international reports suggested that South Korea had tested 230,000 people.

And, at least for a while, the country was able to keep the number of new infections per day relatively flat.

-www.dw.com, 30 August 2021

Arno's Commentary

When compared with the US, South Korea’s success is nothing short of miraculous. Covid-19 related deaths per million population are 1,946 in the US, and 44.5 in South Korea. What is the reason? Strict enforcement of public health regulations, and the population following the rules as advised by medical science.

Although, as of August 2021, only 43% of the population has been fully vaccinated, the lockdowns, keeping distance, and wearing masks seem to be the main contributor to the low Covid-19 deaths in this country. 

Very true: artificial intelligence is an amazing tool to help scientist discover the intricate workings of the virus and find medical answers quickly.

Jesus, in His end-time prophecy, declares: “And great earthquakes shall be in divers [various] places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:11). The word “pestilence” appears 47 times in the Old Testament, and twice—in the plural “pestilences”—in the New Testament. Moody Bible Dictionary says “Hebrew: deber, Greek: loimos. The Hebrew term seems to have originally meant destruction but is regularly applied to the common oriental epidemic such as the plague.” Thus, coronavirus is nothing new. Covid-19 is part of pestilences, which we can read of in Exodus when the plagues came upon Egypt. We note also in the book of Revelation that something heretofore unknown will bring judgment upon planet earth.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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