Boston’s Museum of Science launches COVID-19 AI experience

August 17, 2020 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts reported four new coronavirus deaths and more than 200 new cases on Monday, pushing the state’s pandemic death toll over 8,600 and its confirmed caseload closer to 115,000.

An uptick in cases prompted the state to hit pause last week on reopening the economy. State public health officials said the seven-day weighted average of positive tests was at 1.4%, the lowest level recorded so far.

The true number of cases is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Other coronavirus developments in Massachusetts:



Boston’s Museum of Science and a top Harvard University health expert have teamed up to make it easier for anyone anywhere in the world to get answers to their burning questions about the coronavirus pandemic.

The interactive exhibit, featuring Dr. Ashish Jha and using StoryFile’s conversational video artificial intelligence technology, was unveiled Monday, the museum said in a statement.

Ask a Virtual Expert: COVID Conversations with Dr. Jha ” allows the curious both on-site and remotely to ask a digital image of Jha a multitude of questions about COVID-19. The answers are based on Jha’s responses to more than 550 questions.


The museum’s goal is to make complex scientific topics accessible, President Tim Ritchie said in a statement. “The suite of COVID exhibit content we present in the museum and online — especially the opportunity to have a “personal” conversation with an AI version of one of the world’s leading public health scientists — does just that,” he said.

Jha is a professor of global health at Harvard and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

“Collaborating with the Museum of Science on this experience was, for me, an extraordinary opportunity to reach people — children and adults alike — with fact-based information about health policy, disease transmission, the importance of masks and social distancing and global efforts to combat COVID-19,” he said in a statement.