Digital Biome

By Alan Boyle - September 22, 2020

Five years after starting out as an experimental project to see if advanced sensors and artificial intelligence could spot the signs of a disease outbreak before it happens, Microsoft Premonition is turning into an honest-to-goodness biothreat protection network.

Premonition’s researchers aim to set up about 100 sensor stations in Texas’ Harris County, to track swarms of mosquitoes that could transmit diseases ranging from malaria and dengue fever to Zika and West Nile viruses. AI algorithms will analyze that tracking data for the telltale signs of an epidemic in the making, just as weather forecasting programs look for the signs of a storm on the way.

“It will really be almost like a weather map, the likes of which has not really been seen before in the mosquito vector space,” Ethan Jackson, senior director of Microsoft Premonition, told Geekwire.

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