Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has donated USDC$4 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia.
The goal is to use UNSW’s open-source artificial intelligence platform, which will send out alerts for pandemic early warning signs, to avert worldwide pandemics. Buterin’s Balvi Filantropic Fund made the donation possible.
Buterin’s cryptocurrency donation will help EPIWATCH continue to improve. Professor Raina MacIntyre created it as an open-source intelligence (OSINT) tool. The technology looks for early signs of epidemics by monitoring millions of publicly available web things, such as breaking news headlines and social networking platforms. It detects variations in ‘normal’ health-related reports. This is far more efficient than waiting for results from doctors and laboratories. Health authorities can then explore the early concerns formally.
“Imagine if someone had spotted COVID-19 before it went around the world — that is our vision,” Prof. MacIntyre remarked. EPIWATCH does not rely on people to submit reports because it uses AI and real-time open-source data. It is a tremendous equalizer that can transcend censorship and inadequate health systems. It must be available in local languages and extensively used at the grassroots level, down to villages and small towns around the world, in order to be most effective. This gives us the best chance of avoiding pandemics.”
“The sooner we can detect new epidemics as they emerge, the faster we can create cures or possibly stop them before they grow large,” Buterin added. Open data analysis is a great alternative to more intrusive techniques of surveillance, which are frequently exclusively available to governments and other high-bidders but not to the general public. An open-source and open-access strategy, on the other hand, allows academics from all over the world to collaborate and can be more easily modified and scaled to detect new pandemics wherever they start.”
UNSW’s first crypto contribution comes from the Balvi Filantropic Fund. It is also estimated to be the largest crypto contribution ever made to an Australian university.
Buterin is well-known for his philanthropic activities. He made a donation to the India Crypto Relief Fund in order to help India’s COVID response. He has also backed a variety of causes, including Ukrainian assistance.
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