Element AI creates platform to help researchers identify patterns in COVID-19 research

Element AI

Montreal-based startup Element AI is offering a free AI-powered platform aimed to help scientific researchers, public health authorities, and frontline workers find solutions and patterns in COVID-19 research papers.

“Research data and reports are being published at an unprecedented pace as organizations scale up their efforts to respond to COVID-19.”

Element AI has released the platform in beta, with the initial version sourcing data from the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset corpus, an initiative started by the Allen Institute for AI at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT’s dataset is intended to help researchers use recent advances in natural language processing to generate new insights in support of the fight against the pandemic.

Element AI is looking for users and organizations, including researchers, health authorities, and pharmaceutical companies to test its new, free platform. It is asking for suggestions on other data sets and features that could best fit users’ needs. The first version of the COVID-19 targeted platform will be updated in the coming weeks as additional information emerges.

“Research data and reports are being published at an unprecedented pace as organizations scale up their efforts to respond to COVID-19,” said Jean-François Gagné, CEO and co-founder of Element AI. “We want to contribute, and this free platform is our way to help the scientific community locate and gather knowledge to find answers and patterns.”

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Element AI’s platform connects different data sources. Researchers looking for critical information can search or query terms, phrases, and keywords in the platform’s natural language-based interface to quickly identify patterns across thousands of documents and papers.

The research platform uses technology from the Element AI Knowledge Scout product, which the startup launched in December. Knowledge Scout uses natural language techniques to turn untapped data into insights, arranging and administering information to help companies navigate knowledge stored within their organization.

“We encourage the scientific community to use this free platform and engage with our team so we can all work together to quickly navigate through thousands of COVID-19 research articles to access and share better knowledge to slow down and contain COVID-19,” Gagné said.

Element AI joins a number of Canadian startups pitching in to help fight the pandemic. Other AI companies with new targeted offerings include DarwinAI, which co-developed a neural network for COVID-19 detection via chest radiography. Last week, the Government of Canada signed a deal with Toronto-based BlueDot, to use the company’s disease analytics platform to track the spread as well as help make educated decisions about COVID-19.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.