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Scottish Tech Firm Uses AI to Help Companies Back to Work Post-Lockdown

Michael Behr

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Intense IT WorkSpace AI tech

Intense IT’s method of predicting effective methods of fighting COVID-19 shows how tech companies are providing tools to fight the pandemic.

Edinburgh-based technology company Intense IT is leading a group of firms to use AI and new technology to reduce coronavirus transmission. The group’s solution will help companies looking to protect their employees as they return to work after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Intense IT’s product WorkSafeAI uses artificial intelligence to predict the outcomes of different preventative measures. This way, companies can decide on which measures will have the best results before making an investment.

The software pools real-time data from sensors, heat-sensitive cameras and other Internet of Things devices in order to simulate any combination of mitigation actions, building occupancy and background infection rates.

Intense IT partnered with Silicon Valley Decision Intelligence pioneers Quantellia to develop WorkSafe AI.

The group leads a consortium made up from local, highly skilled SMEs: technical resources from neurodiversity professionals auticon, project management and business analysis specialists Linsandel Consulting and with support from clinical epidemiologist Dr Paul Nelson of Nelus AI.

Intense IT also received seed-funding from Innovate UK, which was obtained with the help of The Data Lab’s External Funding Service.

Robert Walker, Solutions Director at Intense IT said: “The risks to society from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the steps we need to take to live with the disease, are only now being understood. We wanted to play our part in helping to make work space a safe space by modelling epidemiology, infection and transmission risks, and presenting to decision-makers in an actionable way.

“Our partnership with Silicon Valley Decision Intelligence pioneers, Quantellia, allows us to develop this unique approach to risk management for COVID-19, and of course futureproof for further pandemics.  With this solution we can ensure that leaders’ decisions can be evidence-based and people-focused. This will engage business leaders in the fight against a second or third spike in the coronavirus and the emergence of other epidemics.”

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In the last few months, tech companies have been busy creating or adapting products to help companies work during or after the lockdown. The rewards are potentially great – Zoom, for example, saw its earnings for the first quarter of the year grow by 169% compared to the same period of 2019.

US company Density, which helps measure how buildings and other spaces are used, recently raised US$51 million in a new round of funding. While the company’s solutions were used by businesses to optimise how their workspaces were used, reducing waste and increasing security, Density is now helping companies track how many people are in a building at a time to ensure proper social distancing and hygiene are implemented.

Elsewhere, Heathrow Airport has retrofitted a group of robots equipped with UV lights to disinfect the airport. The robots roam the airport at night, shining UV light in rooms to kills the coronavirus particles. Motion and vibration detectors help ensure the room is empty at the time, as UVC, the shorter wavelengths of UV light that damage viral genetic material, is harmful to humans.

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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