Over 40,000 publications about COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 were released  for the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). The White House along with a consortium of tech leaders issued a call to action to the Nation’s artificial intelligence experts to develop new text and data mining techniques to help flattered the curve for the coronavirus. Kaggle, the Google-owned hub for data science and machine learning competitions, initiated a challenge designed to advance natural language understanding in COVID-19.

The CORD-19 Challenge has a very specific requirement: Searching for information about one virus and one disease. The challenge comes in the form of 10 tasks that can help better understand new information about COVID-19 including risk factors, virus genetics, patient care, cure development and other topics. Kaggle is awarding $1,000 per task to winners that best meet the evaluation criteria.

Whilst it would take many years and a huge number of people to manually go through over 40,000 papers and synthesize their findings, CORD-19 is the perfect application of AI capabilities because AI is good at handling distinct issues in a specific domain and doing it extremely well. AI can be focused, concise, and extract information accurately. It can operate on very large corpora of text and answer queries in ways that were beyond the capabilities of human cognition.

This is a huge opportunity for AI experts to help identify meaningful patterns in the CORD-19 dataset and rapidly find solutions to stop the pandemic and save lives around the world. As of today, there have been over 730 contributors to the CORD-19 Challenge.