Priya Saini

Roy T. Bennett once said, “Turn obstacles into opportunities and problems into possibilities.”

The obstacles that have majorly affected the world are the fallout due to the novel coronavirus, which in turn has provided us with the opportunity to become self-reliant and adopt artificial intelligence tools to feel connected and to communicate more. As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc around the world, human civilization has become more inclined towards technology. Artificial Intelligence is reshaping each sector of the industry in terms of decision- making, setting goals or strategies, customer service, etc.  Remote communications, virtual meetings in any organization are the new normal. It acts as a paradigm shift towards AI that every sector is witnessing.

According to McKinsey, COVID-19 recovery will also be digital as it will focus on four major areas: –

  • Sharpen and accelerating digital investments in response to evolving customer needs
  • Improving business operations by using new data and AI
  • Boosting development velocity through selectively modernizing technology capabilities
  • For faster delivery, increase organizational agility

Identification of outbreaks by mobile apps and tools
Many theories are floating about COVID trackers. Several tech startups have developed apps and online tools to track the virus. India is leading in this race of tracing the virus through an app, Aarogya Setu- an essential tool in a country that has one of the largest populations in the world.

The process of detection is being approached in two manners — decentralized and centralized. A decentralized approach defines that only the users will have the authority or control over their information by keeping it in the phone and matches will be done with the people who may have contracted the virus. The other centralized approach will have the data being uploaded to a remote server where matches will be done with the other contacts.

These two approaches have their merits like the recommendation of safety measures such as self assessment, social distancing, do’s and don’ts, works on Bluetooth and tries to determine the risk based on the location, in case of high risk the app also recommends going for a test in nearby centre and demerits like data breach and attacker can also access the health status of someone and their location.

Use of drones for delivery and to spray disinfectants in public places
As several countries have locked themselves, drone technology proves to be the most important tool that ensures safety not only in terms of delivery of products but also to remind people about the measures of social distancing, restrictions on gatherings.

The pandemic has led to closure of restaurants, cafes and enforced people to stay at home that have shown a major rise in the delivery of food and products. Due to the widespread outbreak of the virus, delivery services have chosen to adopt contactless delivery that can is also achieved through drones. Contactless delivery has been successfully done by several companies as it is saving the lives of many people. Not only contactless delivery, but to spray the disinfectants over large areas as well and to keep an eye on movements of people.

Automation of corporate workspaces, homes and commercial spaces
Despite the slowdown in the economy, the demand for smart buildings has been high as it will help in combating the outbreak of coronavirus. Different spaces like homes, malls, corporate workspaces need to be reshaped with effective technologies like automation that will be safer for employees to work even post COVID 19.

Earlier the word automation was only restricted to large manufacturing firms but in today’s date, it is the need of the hour. Before COVID 19 there were also things like biometric attendance devices, facial recognition. Corporate workspaces are enabling AI-based devices like temperature screening terminals and smart video analytics for monitoring people and also for disease regulation protocols in a better way.

The pandemic COVID 19 has posed several major challenges for the world but on the contrary, it is giving every country, especially India, an opportunity to become self-reliant, discover and use various technologies and innovations.  Post-COVID, human civilization will witness drastic and imperative changes in terms of infrastructure of the country as well as the connection between people.

(Author is a New Delhi based PR Professional. Views are Personal)

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