Verdict lists the top five terms tweeted by Covid-19 technology influencers in Q3 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Covid-19 – 24,670 mentions

The need for technological innovations to boost post Covid-19 green recovery, technological efforts to tackle the current health crisis and ways to recover from it were popularly discussed in the third quarter. According to an article shared by Licpriya Kangujam, a climate and environmental activist, the need to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic was important, and to disallow emissions to affect the environment was even more important. She further reiterated the need for more electric charging stations at public places for a sooner and safer green recovery.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, further tweeted on how technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics are being deployed to understand the Covid-19 virus and its spread to vulnerable sections of the society and healthcare staff. He further added that is contributing $8.5m to 31 organisations including NGOs, universities, and academic institutions to advance research on the Covid-19 virus.

Among other discussions, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), tweeted about the responses to dealing with diseases such as malaria, which has existed since a thousand years and the more recent Covid-19. He added that science and technology could play a huge role in mitigating the coronavirus, coupled with important factors such as prevention, protecting the vulnerable sections, and mutual interest.

2. Artificial Intelligence – 5,582 mentions

Neural networks to detect Covid-19 in real-time, AI becoming a driving force for digital transformations during the pandemic and the means to digital recovery post the pandemic were popularly discussed in Q3. According to an article shared by Dr Ganapathi Pulipaka, a SAP technology architect and research scholar, NXP Semiconductor, a chip maker, has developed an enhanced neural network technique to identify Covid-19 through X-rays.

The xAI technology can provide real-time identification of the disease and is currently being tested across neural network frameworks such as Google’s TensorFlow, the article detailed. Experts are of the opinion that the technique can improve machine learning algorithms to recognise X-rays and can also be employed to autonomous driving.

Arvind Krishna, the CEO of IBM, a technology company, further tweeted on hybrid cloud and AI being the key factors behind digital transformations amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The CEO announced new AI offerings for organisations such as the Watson AIOps during IBM’s Think Digital event. The products help to detect, diagnose and respond to IT problems in real time with the use of AI.

Another discussion of AI was emphasised by Neil Cattermull, an industry analyst, who shared an article on the technology trends of 2020 unveiled by Ericsson. The article noted that future technologies will be about enabling automation, programmable codes, and digitisation of everything from humans to machines. Future networks will also witness traffic from connected devices, bots and machines that will be embedded with AI, the article noted.

3. Digital Transformation – 4,095 mentions

Misconceptions surrounding accelerated digital transformation in banking, and technologies transforming various sectors including healthcare were popularly discussed during the quarter. According to an article shared by Ron Shevlin, a top fintech expert, the banking world is convinced that the coronavirus health crisis is accelerating its digital transformation initiatives.

The article further noted that four things needed to happen before the banking industry can experience digital transformation including overhaul of the legacy technology, maturity of AI, involvement of Gen Xers and Millennials in the executive committee, and more downturns.

Andrew Neff, a marketing strategist, meanwhile, shared an article on how digital healthcare will be extremely important in mitigating and preventing a similar health crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Technologies such as AI, edge computing and 5G will transform healthcare through accelerated drug development, improved diagnosis, data extraction, robotic surgery, and real-time monitoring with sensors, the article detailed.

Other discussions around the term included the impact of big data analytics and AI on digital transformation, according to an article shared by Dr Sally Eaves, a global strategy advisor. The pandemic has pushed the limits of data further and is expected to drive data literacy and prepare organisations for improved future responses, the article highlighted.

4. Machine Learning – 3,228 mentions

A machine learning approach to design a Covid-19 vaccine, machine learning being among the top discussed tech topics during the health crisis and companies beginning to reboot their machine learning and analytics were popularly discussed in Q3. According to an article shared by Ian Jones, a content curator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists discovered a machine learning approach to develop a Covid-19 vaccine that had better coverage.

While the discovery did not guarantee complete effectiveness, it helped in understanding the large gaps in who it can help, the article detailed. Experts also opine that vaccines under trial and development guarantee protection towards only 50% of the people.

Kirk Borne, a principal data scientist, further tweeted about the most discussed technology topics during and before the coronavirus crisis. AI and machine learning were the second most discussed pre-pandemic topic. During the pandemic, however, machine learning was the fifth most discussed technology, with data analytics, 5G, telemedicine, and delivery drones gaining more prominence.

Machine learning was also discussed in the context of how companies impacted by the Covid-19 crisis have begun to reboot their machine learning and analytics in an article shared by Nige Willson, an AI advisor. The article noted that responses from most analytics managers revealed that companies were moving away from advanced analytics to descriptive analytics, which provided better insights into what was happening and how to deal with it.

5. Future of Work – 2,755 mentions

Navigating through the coronavirus pandemic and future of work trends were popularly discussed during the third quarter. According to an article shared by Achutya Ghosh, the research head at NASSCOM, a trading association, the Indian technology sector has been trying to cope with the pandemic situation across three phases, global outbreak, lockdown phases, and unlocking the way forward. The report also incorporates quantitative data points, recommendations and best practices to manage Covid-19 risks and disruptions.

Helen Yu, the CEO of Tigon Advisory Corp, an information technology and services company, further shared an article on a survey conducted on whether future of remote work can be productive. Founders and teams of start-ups have revealed that finding a balance while working remotely was not easy although productivity and work life balance seemed to have improved. The survey also included start-up responses to post-pandemic work scenarios.

Other discussions related to the term included an article shared by Harold Sinnott, a social media and digital marketing consultant, on whether the future of work meant the end of offices. Coronavirus lockdowns have quickened the shift to flexible remote working trends although only a few companies are considering abandoning office spaces completely, the article noted.