At today's ignite conference, Microsoft announced that the preview project is about to enter the private preview phase. The project uses machine and sensor platforms to detect and sample mosquito like disease vectors, and uses a cloud based software stack to analyze samples.
Microsoft's vision is to create a system similar to weather monitoring, but for disease outbreaks. The company first demonstrated the project in 2015, but it has come a long way since then.
Currently the focus of the project is to monitor mosquito borne diseases, and Microsoft has actually set up a "premonition producing ground" in its Redmond campus to help researchers test their robots, train their machine learning models, and analyze the data they collect. In this level 2 biological isolation laboratory, Microsoft mainly feeds and analyzes mosquitoes, but in the future, Microsoft will further expand to monitor the entire biological community.
In the video released today, Ethan Jackson, senior director of the premonition project, said: "about five years ago, we saw robots, artificial intelligence and cloud computing reaching a tipping point where we could monitor biological groups in a new way and on a new scale. What really led to this recognition was the outbreak of Ebola virus in 2014. How did one of the rarest viruses on earth jump from an animal to a human? Are we missing a signal, can we predict it? "