Nvidia And IBM Using AI To Fight COVID-19

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is certainly on its way to revamp many industries and the way they operate. But with the recent Coronavirus or COVID-19, larger MNCs have stepped in to see what they can do to battle this malice which is not only disrupting lives and businesses but it is killing us too.


Nvidia and IBM have released further AI solutions to help in the global fight against COVID-19.

COVID-19 knows no borders and has resulted in around 75,896 deaths as of writing. People around the world are hoping AI can deliver solutions for tackling the coronavirus which has wrecked social and economic havoc.

AI News has already covered work from predominantly Asian tech firms including Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Daergen, and Insilico Medicine, but more and more Western companies are stepping up with solutions.

Nvidia Was First

Nvidia was among the first Western tech giants to offer up some of its substantial resources towards fighting COVID-19. Last month, it gave COVID-19 researchers free access to its Parabricks genome-sequencing software.

27,000 of Nvidia’s GPUs are also powering IBM’s Summit supercomputer which researchers were able to use to simulate 8,000 compounds in a matter of days and identify 77 small-molecule compounds, such as medications and natural compounds, that have shown the potential to impair COVID-19’s ability to dock with and infect host cells.

This week, Nvidia announced that it’s joined the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium. The consortium brings together leaders from the US government, industry, and academia, and supports researchers by providing access to 30 supercomputers with over 400 petaflops of compute performance.

Nvidia, for its part, will contribute its expertise to the consortium in areas such as AI,  supercomputing, drug discovery, molecular dynamics, genomics, medical imaging, and data analytics.

“The COVID-19 HPC Consortium is the Apollo Program of our time,” said Ian Buck, VP and GM of Accelerated Computing at Nvidia. “Not a race to the moon, this is a race for humanity. The rocket ships are GPU supercomputers, and their fuel is scientific knowledge. NVIDIA is going to help by making these rockets travel as fast as they can.”

Nvidia has also packaged COVID-19 tools on NGC, the company’s hub for GPU-accelerated software. All of the COVID-19 tools on NGC are publicly available.

IBM Launched HPC Consortium

IBM has also been active in providing tools and expertise in the fight against COVID-19 and helped to launch the aforementioned COVID-19 HPC Consortium.

Last month, IBM launched COVID-19 data in its Weather Channel app to provide access to detailed virus tracking. The company also merged its Micromedex online medication reference database with EBSCO’s DynaMed peer-reviewed clinical content to form a single comprehensive resource with the goal of improving clinical decision-making.

Our sister publication Developer reported on IBM’s Call for Code initiative expanding to include COVID-19 solutions last week. By tapping into IBM’s vast developer community and offering “starter kits” consisting of relevant tools, innovators from around the world can quickly get to work building potentially lifesaving solutions.

IBM has made two new COVID-19 announcements over the past week.

The first is an AI deep search tool which takes reputable data from the White House, a coalition of research groups, and licensed databases from the DrugBank, Clinicaltrials.gov and GenBank. Researchers can use IBM’s tool to quickly extract critical knowledge regarding COVID-19 from the large collection of papers.

IBM will also make its Functional Genomics Platform available for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform is a cloud-based repository and research tool which includes genes, proteins, and other molecular targets, and is built to discover the molecular features of viral and bacterial genomes. Using the platform, researchers can accelerate the discovery of molecular targets required for drug design, test development, and treatment.

In Conclusion

So there we have some of the latest AI solutions from Nvidia and IBM designed to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic we’re all facing. We’ll keep you posted on further tools and developments that may be of assistance.

Stay safe, stay home where possible, and thank you to all key workers and researchers helping to get us out of this nightmare soon.