Google Throws Its Computing Brains Into Tackling the Zika Virus
Posted March 3rd 2016
The tech giant Google has decided to throw its vast processing power behind the mission to understand Zika and try to get ahead of its spread. The company said that it has partnered with children’s charity Unicef, lending engineers to the cause and donating $1 million to support the charity’s work on the ground.
In an attempt to map the virus and anticipate its next moves, Google is using its data crunching abilities to analyzing the vast amounts of Zika-related information at scale and at speed.
Engineers will gather data about weather and travel patterns to create visualizations about where the disease might go next. The information will be passed to Unicef, governments and other nonprofit organizations that can use it to decide where to focus time and resources.
The aim is ultimately to get ahead of the virus to try and stop it in its tracks.
As with other tech tools that emerge from disaster responses such as Google’s Person Finder and Facebook’s Safety Check feature, Google is hoping the tools it creates to combat Zika will also be used in future emergencies.