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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says better data is key to a world recovering from COVID-19

The Facebook CEO also mentioned that unlike the pandemics we have faced before, we now have a new "superpower" in the form of data that can be shared.

  • Published: April 21, 2020 11:44 AM IST
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Technology giant Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated on Monday the importance of data amidst the crisis. He said that if we use data responsibly, it can help the world respond to the ongoing health crisis. Further, he also mentions that this is the key to get us started on the road to recovery from COVID-19. He stressed that by distributing surveys to large numbers of people whose identities we know, we can quickly generate enough signal to correct for biases and ensure sampling is done properly. Also Read - Facebook data of 267 million users sold for just Rs 41,500: Report

“Getting accurate county-by-county data from across the US is challenging, and obtaining such focused data from across the whole world is even harder,” said Zuckerberg in a recent post, originally published in The Washington Post. “But with a community of billions of people globally, Facebook can uniquely help researchers and health authorities get the information they need to respond to the outbreak and start planning for the recovery,” he added. Also Read - Facebook Gaming app launched, to compete with Twitch and YouTube

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Data is a superpower, suggests Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg mentioned that helping people come together as a community will help us address our greatest challenges. He mentions sharing our experiences and supporting each other in crises. Zuckerberg also highlighted the importance of working together at scale to solve problems. “The world has faced pandemics before, but this time we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good,” he added. Also Read - Facebook cancels 'large physical events' through June 2021

“Data like this can unlock a lot of good. Since we’re all generating data from apps and devices every day, there will likely be many more opportunities to use the aggregate data to benefit public health. But it’s essential that this is done in a way that protects people’s privacy and respects human rights,” the Facebook CEO elaborated.

Moreover, public health researchers have used data sets released by Facebook. These were used to inform decisions across Asia, Europe, and North America over the past few months. “Researchers in Taiwan have been able to identify the cities with the highest chance of infection; researchers in Italy are analyzing lockdown measures in relation to income inequality. California officials are reviewing county-level data daily to steer public health messaging,” informed Zuckerberg.

Further, Facebook has also partnered with researchers from New York University and the Mila research institute in Montreal. They will be using Artificial Intelligence to help hospitals better predict the needs of scarce resources. This includes use-cases such as personal protective equipment and ventilators.

 (With inputs from IANS)

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  • Published Date: April 21, 2020 11:44 AM IST



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