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The novel coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the globe and once bustling industrial economies are grinding to a halt.
Companies and their employees are being forced to rapidly adapt to a new way of working, civil liberties are being withdrawn to ease pressure on already-squeezed health services, and emergency services on the frontline of the pandemic are making unthinkable sacrifices to attend the infected.
IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are joining forces with the White House, the US Department of Energy, and other US federal agencies to deliver supercomputing power and public cloud resources to scientists and researchers working to address the novel coronavirus global pandemic.
As part of the newly-announced Covid-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, the companies are making 330 petaflops of performance available to researchers attempting to understand the virus and form treatments that can be used for potential vaccines.
Google revealed a set of wheels supporting one of its data centre racks buckled, precipitating a chain of events that resulted in some CPUs overheating, disrupting Search, Gmail, and other services for some users.
The unusual episode was discovered after a site reliability engineer on the company’s traffic and load balancing was alerted that Google services being supported by its edge network were producing an abnormally high number of errors.
Facebook and Google are among the technology firms that have joined forces to protect and inform people during the coronavirus outbreak. The group of companies, which own and run some of the world’s biggest online platforms, have said they have committed to work together and with governments in response to the pandemic. In a joint statement, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit and YouTube said they would help ensure people could stay connected to each other during isolation as well as fight any misinformation and fraud linked to the outbreak.
A dataset of over 29,000 scientific articles related to the coronavirus family has been shared publicly to help the scientific and medical community better understand Covid-19 and its related viruses.
The machine-readable collection was collated so that AI technologies, specifically text and data mining tools, could easily digest existing scientific literature for insights on how Covid-19 can be tackled.