In the hopes of preventing global pandemics, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, has made a donation of $4 million USDC to the University of South Wales (UNSW). Funded by Buterin’s Balvi Filantropic Fund, the donation will go towards UNSW’s open-source artificial intelligence platform that aims to send early warning signs for a pandemic.
The Ethereum founder’s donation will support the further evolution of EPIWATCH, an open-source intelligence (OSINT) tool, that Professor Raina MacIntyre has created.
Prof. Maclntyre says,
“Imagine if someone had detected COVID-19 before it spread around the world – that is our vision. Using AI and real-time open-source data, EPIWATCH does not depend on people making reports. It is a great equalizer and can overcome weak health systems and censorship.”
The technology looks for early signs of epidemics by monitoring millions of publicly available web things, such as breaking news headlines and social networking platforms. It identifies variations in ‘normal’ health-related information. This is far more efficient than waiting for results from doctors and laboratories. Health authorities can then explore the early concerns formally.
“The earlier we can detect new epidemics as they come, the more quickly we can start developing treatments or even stop them before they become large. Open analysis of public data is an excellent alternative to more intrusive forms of monitoring, which are also often only available to governments and other high bidders but closed to the public.
The fund received from the Balvi Filantropic Fund is UNSW’s first crypto donation. It is also estimated to be the biggest crypto contribution ever made to an Australian university.
The Ethereum founder is well-known for his charity activities. He made a donation of $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu to the India Crypto Relief Fund in order to help India’s COVID reaction. He has also backed a variety of causes, including Ukrainian assistance.