Tag Archives: COVID

COVID-19: How Google is helping the open source community

COVID-19 has affected so much of the world around us, and open source is no exception. Project resilience is being challenged by COVID-19. Community members have even less time to contribute. Event cancellations are impacting networking, collaboration, and fundraising.


Google wants to do everything it can to help. This means that it’s even more important for the Google Open Source Programs Office to step up our commitment to citizenship. We’re taking several steps to support industry organizations and the projects that we participate in to help them operate during this time.

Virtual Events Support

  • Participating in talks internally and externally to Google to share knowledge and insight into open source projects and practices with the wider open source communities.
  • To support the shift from an offline to online events model, we created an online guide to share resources and event planning knowledge: Open Source Virtual Events Guide.

Talent

  • COVIDActNow is a multidisciplinary team working to provide disease intelligence and data analysis on COVID in the U.S. Google contributed to this project by improving their data pipeline allowing for county level data visualization, providing more localized insight for crisis planning.
  • Nextstrain is a platform for real-time tracking of pathogen evolution. Google contributed engineering, design, and translation resources to help scientists conduct research into real-time tracking of pathogen evolution.
  • Schema.org - Google led Schema.org rapid response designs for structured data markup to contribute to the COVID-19 global response, leading to the UK making similar announcements.
  • Google’s annual internship program was converted to a digital program where interns will focus on open source projects, allowing projects to gain new contributors in a non-traditional environment.
  • Google Summer of Code brings over 1100 university students from around the world together with open source communities, many of which are working on various humanitarian efforts related to COVID-19. The program is completely online so students can work with their mentors remotely, allowing all organizations to continue receiving the support they need.
The impact from COVID-19 will have long-term effects on many organizations and projects that may not be immediately apparent. In the coming months, we will monitor the needs of projects and organizations across open source. We understand the value of open source not just to the tech world, but the impact it has on bringing communities together; Google has a long standing history in open source and we will continue supporting our community to stay strong during and after the passing of COVID-19.

We encourage folks who have the time and ability to support open source communities to do so by getting involved and reaching out directly to organizations that interest you. This is a time for all of us to come together and lift up each other and open source.

By Megan Byrd-Sanicki and Radha Jhatakia, Google Open Source

Building a more resilient world together

Posted by Billy Rutledge, Director of the Coral team

UNDP Hackster.io COVID19 Detect Protect Poster

Recently, we’ve seen communities respond to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic by using technology in new ways to effect positive change. It’s increasingly important that our systems are able to adapt to new contexts, handle disruptions, and remain efficient.

At Coral, we believe intelligence at the edge is a key ingredient towards building a more resilient future. By making the latest machine learning tools easy-to-use and accessible, innovators can collaborate to create solutions that are most needed in their communities. Developers are already using Coral to build solutions that can understand and react in real-time, while maintaining privacy for everyone present.

Helping our communities stay safe, together

As mandatory isolation measures begin to relax, compliance with safe social distancing protocol has become a topic of primary concern for experts across the globe. Businesses and individuals have been stepping up to find ways to use technology to help reduce the risk and spread. Many efforts are employing the benefits of edge AI—here are a few early stage examples that have inspired us.

woman and child crossing the street

In Belgium, engineers at Edgise recently used Coral to develop an occupancy monitor to aid businesses in managing capacity. With the privacy preserving properties of edge AI, businesses can anonymously count how many customers enter and exit a space, signaling when the area is too full.

A research group at the Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in India are using Coral to develop a wearable device to serve as a COVID-19 cough counter and health monitor, allowing medical professionals to better care for low risk patients in an outpatient capacity. Coral's Edge TPU enables biometric data to be processed efficiently, without draining the limited power resources available in wearable devices.

All across the US, hospitals are seeking solutions to ensure adherence to hygiene policy amongst hospital staff. In one example, a device incorporates the compact, affordable and offline benefits of the Coral modules to aid in handwashing practices at numerous stations throughout a facility.

And around the world, members of the PyImageSearch community are exploring how to train a COVID-19: Face Mask Detector model using TensorFlow that can be used to identify whether people are wearing a mask. Open source frameworks can empower anyone to develop solutions, and with Coral components we can help bring those benefits to everyone.

Eliciting a global response

In an effort to rally greater community involvement, Coral has joined The United Nations Development Programme and Hackster.io, as a sponsor of the COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge. The initiative calls on developers to build affordable and reproducible solutions that support response efforts in developing countries. All ideas are welcome—whether they use ML or not—and we encourage you to participate.

To make edge ML capabilities even easier to integrate, we’re also announcing a price reduction for the Coral products widely used for experimentation and prototyping. Our Dev Board will now be offered at $129.99, the USB Accelerator at $59.99, the Camera Module at $19.99, and the Enviro Board at $14.99. Additionally, we are introducing the USB Accelerator into 10 new markets: Ghana, Thailand, Singapore, Oman, Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Israel, and Vietnam. For more details, visit Coral.ai/products.

We’re excited to see the solutions developers will bring forward with Coral. And as always, please keep sending us feedback at [email protected]