Facebook is publishing new, artificial-intelligence-powered forecasts that predict the spread of Covid-19 across the U.S. at the county level.
Facebook AI published a paper extensively detailing the techniques used to generate these county-level forecasts, including how it trained its AI models using time series data on the spread of the disease consisting of county names, dates and number of confirmed cases.
The social network is teaming up with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya to determine how it can apply these forecasting techniques in Europe, while continuing to use its U.S. forecasting data to better understand how the pandemic is evolving elsewhere in the world.
Facebook said its U.S. county-level forecasts will be integrated into specific reports bound for the European Commission, which the EC’s research team will use to provide a more comprehensive understanding of global hotspots.
The company wrote in a blog post, “Earlier in the year, we began collaborating with local academic experts in New York, New Jersey and Austria to provide localized forecasting models to academic partners, who, in turn, shared forecasts with public health authorities and emergency services providers. The information produced by our AI models improved resource planning for in-demand resources, such as hospitals, ICU beds, ventilators and masks.”