Chinese scientist wants a new Skynet-like system just for tracking viruses
The proposed monitoring system would rely on AI, 5G and big data
A prominent biomedical researcher in China wants the country to establish a Skynet-type surveillance system for tracking diseases like Covid-19.
Cheng Jing, a professor at Tsinghua University’s Medical Systems Biology Research Centre, proposed an automatic monitoring and reporting system for epidemic control that relies on artificial intelligence and 5G. The professor, who is also a deputy to the county’s National People's Congress, compared it to Skynet, China’s vast video surveillance system.
Cheng is known for having experience with the coronavirus. He’s been dubbed the "virus hunter" in China thanks to his role in developing testing kits for Covid-19 that can produce results in just 1.5 hours. He also helped with the fight against Sars, the deadly disease caused by another coronavirus that struck China in the early 2000s.
One of the main criticisms levied against China’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak is that it was late to react, leading to an explosion of infections that started in Wuhan and spread across the world. Then it was later criticised for a heavy-handed response that some saw as draconian because of strict lockdown measures.
Skynet also became part of China’s efforts to fight the spread of the virus.