Friday, September 30, 2022

Vitalik Buterin Commits $4M to UNSW For Bio-defense Tool

Co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin has donated a sum of $4 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The institution runs a biosecurity research program, aimed towards building a bio-defence tool which would help provide early-stage detection of futuristic epidemics. 

The Future of Bio-defence Lies In Decentralization — Vitalik Buterin

Interestingly, the $4M worth of USDC fund (approximately 5.3 million Australian Dollars), would be channelled towards the development and growth of the Shiba Inu Open-Source Intelligence-powered tool known as EPIWATCH.

The EPIWATCH tool is a brainchild of Raina Maclntyre, a Professor and head of biosecurity research at the UNSW institute. It operates through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Open-source data to scan through a myriad of data. Now, these data are usually from online sources such as news reports and social media posts. However, the primary aim is to detect health concerns, just as they arise.

Maclntyre also shares that the EPIWATCH tool  does not depend on individuals lodging reports. Rather, the tool itself, through its AI capability, picks up vital health information from millions of points across the internet. Additionally, he said that the vision of the Biosecurity research program is to detect epidemics like the COVID-19 before it aggravates into a global pandemic.

Vitalik Buterin has always been of the opinion that the future of bio-defence lies in both decentralization and collaborative work. But he also knows that the EPIWATCH may seem like an intrusion of privacy to some. Therefore, Buterin in hopes of clearing any misconceptions, has stated that what the EPIWATCH tool seeks to do, supersedes the conventional method of data collection. According to him, the conventional method is not only intrusive, but also lacks the merit of easy accessibility to the public.

Buterin also says early detection of epidemics makes for easier eradication and stops them from becoming widespread.

Blockchain-Backed AI Tools Gaining Prominence

Blockchain technology is known for its uniqueness due to its open-source nature, scalability and its ability to process transactions at lightning speed. However, there’s every possibility of a sudden rise in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, powered by blockchain technology.

Just recently, a major e-money vendor and debit card issuing firm, Elrond Network integrated an AI tool into its network. The aim was to improve transaction security across its network.

Victoria Nye
A Blockchain columnist who is enthusiastic about developing a network interface between the real world and the cryptosphere.

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