Buterin donates $4M to Uni of NSW for pandemic detection tool

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Buterin donates $4M to Uni of NSW for pandemic detection tool

“Imagine if someone had detected COVID-19 before it spread around the world — that is our vision,” said professor Raina MacIntyre.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has donated $4 million worth of USD Coin (USDC) to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to support the development of a pandemic detection tool.

The capital, which equates to roughly 5.3 million Australian dollars, is part of Buterin’s self-described “moonshot anti-COVID effort” dubbed Balvi Filantropic Fund in partnership with the Shiba Inu (SHIB) memecoin project and Crypto Relief.

The funds will further support the development of the Shiba Inu Open-Source Intelligence- (OISNT)-based EPIWATCH tool, which utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and open-source data to create early pandemic warning signs.

Created by Kirby Institute professor and biosecurity research head Raina MacIntyre, the tool scans millions of items of publicly available online data, including social media and news reports to detect any changes that could suggest increasing health concerns.

Buterin emphasized the importance of sharing data in a decentralized and open manner to speed up pandemic detection:

MacIntyre said the idea was to make the tool accessible at a “grassroots” level and make sure it covers enough languages to reach “villages and small towns around the world.”

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