The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus crisis is a complex problem that will be solved with the support of the AI
In 2016 Paul Kruchoski published in WebForum the article titled «10 Skills you Need to Thrive Tomorrow» analyzing the skills that will be most demanded in the future world of work. The author indicated in the article that, according to the World Economic Forum, complex problem solving will be the most valued competence in the world of work, ahead of the ability to think critically and creativity. The resolution of complex problems will become even more relevant with the global crisis caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Humanity will have to face health, social, economic and political challenges caused by a crisis of magnitudes that experts are not yet able to quantify. The OECD recently warned that coronavirus is economically surpassing its worst economic forecasts. In the opinion of experts, this pandemic constitutes the third great economic, financial and social “shock” of the 21st century after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the global financial crisis of 2008. In fact, the OECD has already begun to recommend the application of a “Marshall Plan” that will be necessary to get out of this crisis collectively.
In this scenario, the competence of solving complex problems is more important than ever. The complexity strategy is an interdisciplinary theory that emerged in the sixties and studies complex systems. This area of knowledge builds on previous research in the natural sciences, examining how we deal with uncertainty. The experts propose different approaches or methodologies to tackle the resolution of complex problems. For example, we could use systemic thinking, which is a conceptual framework that seeks to understand various subsystems or interrelated elements. This concept has its origins in holism, the general systems theory proposed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy in 1937 or cybernetics.
Systemic thinking made a breakthrough thanks to the work of MIT experts such as systems scientists Jay Wricht Forrester and Peter Senge with their book The Fifth Discipline. Other useful methodologies and tools for solving complex problems are lateral thinking, divergent thinking, visual thinking, fifty thousand feet also known as helicopter vision, or exponential technologies. The rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, Big data or in the future quantum computing could be of enormous help in solving complex problems.
Today we already have some concrete examples of how artificial intelligence is helping us against the coronavirus. In this month’s article for revistabyte.es, the authors indicate that artificial intelligence is being used to solve complex problems such as early detection of the pandemic, rapid case diagnosis, follow-up of treatments or detection of new cases with thermal cameras. Jun Wu recently published another article on the same topic for Forbes stating that artificial intelligence and applied genetic science make it easier, faster, and cheaper to understand how the virus spreads, how to handle it, and how to contain its devastating effects.
Xabi Uribe-Etxebarria, CEO of Sherpa.ai, indicated in an interview for CadenaSer that artificial intelligence is as important as medicine to fight the virus. Uribe-Etxebarria provided other examples such as the Google AI section that has developed protein development algorithms to get the vaccine and decipher the Covid-19 genome. Allibaba has presented a development to perform quick tests in about 20 seconds. These examples and many others show us the way forward in which we will rely on AI to solve complex problems.