Google starts forecasting COVID-19 cases in Japan
NHK -- Nov 19
Google has begun providing forecasts of the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Japan.

The service started on Tuesday. It is the Japanese application of a model that Google, in partnership with Harvard University, developed based on AI technology. The company launched the service in the United States in August.

The service will provide the number of new COVID cases, deaths, hospitalization and other data at the prefecture level over the next 28 days.

During the period from Sunday to December 12, a total of 53,321 people are projected to test positive nationwide. Hokkaido is expected to have the most cases at 16,877, followed by Tokyo with 10,164 and Osaka with 7,756.

To work out the forecasts, Google uses public data including those from the health ministry, and data the company collects on the movement of people. The firm says it has confirmed the model's forecast accuracy by using past data.

Google says the forecasts are intended to help medical institutions, government authorities, and other relevant organizations to be better prepared.

アメリカ大手のIT企業・グーグルが17日から、新型コロナウイルスの感染者数や死亡者数などを、AI=人工知能を使って予測する日本版のサイトをインターネット上で公開しています。アメリカでは、すでに8月から公開されていて、グーグルの分析によると、これまでに生じた誤差はおおむね10~20%ほど。予測の精度は、かなりのものだといいます。今回、日本版を監修した慶應義塾大学の宮田裕章教授に聞きました。 慶応義塾大学医学部・宮田裕章教授:「今回の予測は、厚生労働省が公表しているデータであったり、一般からアクセスできる国勢調査のようなデータ、これで陽性者数や入院患者数、地域の実態というデータを把握して、それに加えて、移動のデータを掛け合わせて、この陽性者数であったり、死亡者数を予測するモデルになっている」 18日に東京で新たに確認された感染者は493人でした。一方、予測では314人となっています。 慶応義塾大学医学部・宮田裕章教授:「日々の陽性者数で一喜一憂するというよりは、これが拡大傾向にあるのか、そうではないのかの手掛かりに、グーグルの予測を使っていただければいいのかなと」 予測の数値は、毎日、更新されます。公開された予測データについて、グーグルは、「政府や地方自治体、医療機関がより早く感染状況を把握し、準備するための情報の1つとして活用してほしい」としています。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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