What we have learned from the failure to apply Blockchain and AI to fight COVID-19

What we learned from the failure to apply Blockchain and AI to fight COVID-19 - Blockchain and AI to fight covid 19 1024x6832020 has seen a variety of exciting developments in the blockchain space. To name but a few: the emergence of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as major economic forces and sources of user traction of the crypto network, the maturation of Ethereum level 2 solutions and the launch of a variety of new blockchains with excellent scalability characteristics.

As all this technical advancement unfolded, the world was troubled by a tiny virus that has morphed into one of the greatest social and economic upheavals of the modern era. As this promising 2021 begins, it is worth asking which blockchain technology has contributed to humanity's efforts to cope with the pandemic.

Technological responses to the pandemic

Contact tracking work for privacy protection by centralized companies like Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Apple (Apple shares - Ticker AAPL) haven't fared much better. The pandemic was a fantastic opportunity for blockchain technologies focused on tracking personal medical data.

China and other Asian countries have fought COVID-19 by putting aside privacy and aggressively exploiting tracking and traceability. Blockchain technology offers the option for monitoring and traceability of personal data while preserving privacy in the collective analysis.

Several blockchain-based tracking apps have emerged, such as Nodle or Blockchain Baseline Protocol. Then there were creative efforts like the Decentralized Pandemic Reserve DAO, aimed at allocating critical resources in difficult times.

SingularityNET's Intelligent Agent-Based Simulation Modeling project for scientific evaluation and proposal of pandemic management policies and ImmunoLynk's IPFS-based decentralized network for managing immunity test results. While scientifically and technically solid enough, they have not played a key role in managing the pandemic so far.

Advanced thinking

Many times the question has arisen as to why our society, so technologically advanced in so many ways, is not willing to leverage the best modeling technology available to scientifically determine the best policies for saving lives and maintaining economic health.

In order not to think that the problem is some particular flaw in blockchain technology, however, it is worth noting that the same basic situation has occurred with regards to applying AI against COVID-19.

While there have been some interesting successes such as the COVID-19 Chest CT Pneumonia Scanner, or Nference's study of COVID-19 literature and clinical data, AI, like blockchain, has been on the fringes rather than the center of the response to the COVID-19 of the company. Compared to problems such as converting the global financial ecosystem to DeFi or creating decentralized advantageous AGIs, responding to a pandemic is not a severe test for the software and algorithms available in the new distributed ledger technology.

But what the new tools can do doesn't really matter if, when the critical time comes, neither the general public nor key social decision makers can understand and see the value.