Alibaba Develops AI Algorithm to Detect Coronavirus With 96% Accuracy

The company seeks to fight the virus-- and improve its stock price.

Author: Anthony Russo   

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988) has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) diagnostic algorithm that detects new coronavirus cases with an accuracy rate of up to 96%, according to the company. 

The algorithm, which was developed by Alibaba's research center Damo Academy, has sampled data from more than 5,000 confirmed cases, as Kr Asia reported today. The system can also detect distinctions in CT scans from patients infected with the coronavirus and ordinary viral pneumonia with an accuracy of up to 96%. Viral pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. 

The move marked Alibaba's second attempt to contribute to the battle against the coronavirus epidemic. Last month, researchers at the company unveiled an AI-powered public health service tool. The online application, which was deployed by the Chinese government in Zhejiang province, provides information about the coronavirus.

The U.S. markets are closed today in observance of Presidents' Day; Alibaba last traded at $219.63 per American depositary share on Friday.

Despite the e-commerce giant reporting strong fourth quarter results and beating analysts' expectations last week, shares in the company fell on renewed coronavirus fears, which have affected the overall volatility of the markets. Prior to its earnings report, Alibaba was trading as high as $225.52 per share last week.

In three months through December, Alibaba's revenue reached $23.2 billion, up 38% year-over-year. Net income was $7.2 billion, or $2.81 per share,  representing a 49% increase from a year ago.

In Hong Kong, shares of Alibaba closed 1% higher on Monday, at HK$217.40 apiece.