Artificial Intelligence in Action: Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic with Natural Language Processing

Qingyu Chen, Robert Leaman, Alexis Allot, Ling Luo, Chih-Hsuan Wei, Shankai Yan, Zhiyong Lu
2021 Annual Review of Biomedical Data Science  
The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has had a significant impact on society, both because of the serious health effects of COVID-19 and because of public health measures implemented to slow its spread. Many of these difficulties are fundamentally information needs; attempts to address these needs have caused an information overload for both researchers and the public. Natural language processing (NLP)—the branch of artificial intelligence that interprets human language—can be
more » ... d to address many of the information needs made urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic. This review surveys approximately 150 NLP studies and more than 50 systems and datasets addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. We detail work on four core NLP tasks: information retrieval, named entity recognition, literature-based discovery, and question answering. We also describe work that directly addresses aspects of the pandemic through four additional tasks: topic modeling, sentiment and emotion analysis, caseload forecasting, and misinformation detection. We conclude by discussing observable trends and remaining challenges. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Data Science, Volume 4 is July 2021. Please see for revised estimates.
doi:10.1146/annurev-biodatasci-021821-061045 pmid:34465169 fatcat:gxtcwu5ih5gx3la6ea4674pnmu