China-Pakistan Workshop- Use of Artificial Intelligence against COVID-19 held

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Considering the challenges of current pandemic, Pakistan and China are working together to overcome the difficulties of COVID-19 especially in Pakistan. In this regard, Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU), Beijing China and Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) Islamabad have planned to organize a series of joint online Science Workshops to help scientists and engineers to fight COVID-19 using new technologies. These workshops are sponsored by the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Islamabad, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Beijing, China Centre for International Science and Technology Exchange (CISTE) at BTBU and the Beijing Association for Science and Technology (BAST).

The first workshop of the series titled, “Use of Artificial Intelligence against COVID-19” was held on July 23, 2020. Prof. Zheng Wenhog, Vice President of BTBU in his opening remarks welcomed the participants and appreciated the organisers for holding the workshop on this very important issue. Mr. Muhammad Suleman, Education Attaché, Embassy of Pakistan Beijing in his remarks applauded the efforts of the organisers and said that both the countries always stand side by side in every difficult moment and same cooperation is continuing in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Director General, PASTIC in his speech also thanked the participants for their keen interest in the workshop and highlighted the main objective of the workshop; viz., to promote China-Pakistan bilateral research in S&T and capacity building of Pakistani scientists, researchers, technologies, healthcare professionals in the use of modern technologies in the fight against COVID-19.

The workshop comprised of two lectures from Prof. Chen Wei, Deputy Director, State Key Lab of CAD&CG Zhejiang and Prof. Zhang Zike from Alibaba University School, Hangzhou Normal University. Prof. Wei talked about the Data Visualisation and its application in fight against pandemic. In the second lecture, Prof. Zike talked about the role of big and small data on COVID-19 in China. He shared his experience on how the Chinese government collected the data from different resources, analysed it and responded on the results of analysis during the pandemic days. He highlighted how infections were traced and measures taken to restrict the outflow from infected areas using machine learning and artificial intelligence; which helped to contain the spread of virus in China.

It is pertinent to mention that ECOSF and BTBU are also collaborating for promotion of STI under Belt & Road Initiative of China; and upon the invitation of BTBU and PASTIC, ECOSF team led by President Prof. Manzoor Soomro and Scientific Officer Mr. Khalil Raza, Assistant Director Programmes Mr. Ghulam Abbas and IT Specialist Mr. Bilal Mehmood attended the workshop. Prof. Soomro in his comments appreciated the organizers for conducting such an informative workshop on futuristic technology. ECOSF-BTBU joint activities will also begin soon.

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