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White House Launches COVID-19 Search Engine Program

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has teamed up with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on an effort to develop search engines targeted to COVID-19 info.

The project stems from the White House's call for a machine-readable COVID-19 dataset. It will apply the technology assessment tool Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) to the machine readable COVID-19 Open Research Dataset that the White House called on tech companies to create.

Related: White House Calls for Mining of New COVID-19 Database

“AI experts worldwide are responding to the White House’s call to action, developing approaches that help scientists gain insights from thousands of articles of COVID-19 scholarly literature,” said U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios. “The program expands upon these efforts by creating powerful and accurate search engines that extract knowledge from this literature, tailored to the needs of the health-care and medical research communities."

At the outset, NIST will work with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the National Library of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health), the White House said Wednesday (April 15).

The White House last month asked science and tech publishers to allow any relevant material on the COVID-19 coronavirus to be compiled into a free, open and accessible database whose text can be mined and collated.