The ethical use of high-performance computing and artificial intelligence: fighting COVID-19 at Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Published on May 6, 2021
· DOI :10.1007/S43681-021-00056-1
Ulises Cortés28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UPC: Polytechnic University of Catalonia),
Atia Cortés3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Barcelona Supercomputing Center)
+ 3 AuthorsEnric Àlvarez (UPC: Polytechnic University of Catalonia)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary medical, economic and humanitarian emergency. Artificial intelligence, in combination with other digital technologies, is being used as a tool to support the fight against the viral pandemic that has affected the entire world since the beginning of 2020. Barcelona Supercomputing Center collaborates in the battle against the coronavirus in different areas: the application of bioinformatics for the research on the virus and its possible treatments, the use of artificial intelligence, natural language processing and big data techniques to analyse the spread and impact of the pandemic, and the use of the MareNostrum 4 supercomputer to enable massive analysis on COVID-19 data. Many of these activities have included the use of personal and sensitive data of citizens, which, even during a pandemic, should be treated and handled with care. In this work we discuss our approach based on an ethical, transparent and fair use of this information, an approach aligned with the guidelines proposed by the European Union.
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