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AI Could Help Eliminate Tuberculosis

Artificial intelligence could revolutionize how countries fight infectious diseases like tuberculosis, ensuring that life-saving care reaches those who need it most. Initiatives in Pakistan, Paraguay, and Cambodia are pointing the way.

GENEVA – Groundbreaking new technologies seem to be emerging with increasing frequency nowadays. Since its launch in November 2022, OpenAI’s generative artificial intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT, has become a global sensation, attracting more than 100 million users and inspiring numerous imitators. The technology’s fast-evolving capabilities have also commanded the attention of world leaders, dominating discussions at both the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28) and the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

It is not difficult to understand why. By harnessing AI tools developed by private companies like OpenAI, governments and civil-society organizations could make significant strides toward tackling global challenges like climate change and economic inequality. Similarly, they could revolutionize how we fight infectious diseases, ensuring that life-saving care reaches those who need it most.

Tuberculosis is a prime example. TB, a preventable and curable disease, claims an average of more than 3,000 lives per day. Although the mechanisms of TB transmission are well understood, and highly effective treatment regimens – including new and improved medications – are available worldwide, TB still led to 1.3 million deaths globally in 2022.