Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), delivered the fifth and sixth instalments of its webinar series centred on COVID-19.

The webinar series is organised by the institute’s Qatar Center for Artificial Intelligence and focuses on the use of artificial intelligence and data science for COVID-19 data. With confirmed cases worldwide surpassing 2.7 million and growing, presentations focused on the race to develop vaccines and treatments, and the ‘infodemic’ of inaccurate and false news undermining efforts to overcome the pandemic.

A Data-Driven Perspective on Drug Discovery highlighted technologies and methodologies used by scientists in their pursuit to find a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Research scientist Raghvendra Mall and software engineer Ehsan Ullah, discussed the pros and cons of some of the directions being pursued in search of a treatment, showcasing quantitative measures that are widely utilised to measure a drug’s effectiveness.

Flattening the Curve of the COVID-19 Infodemic discussed the politicisation of the pandemic and its effect on the perception of medical realities. The discussion featured three principal scientists at QCRI Kareem Darwish,  Preslav Nakov and Giovanni Da San Martino.

They also presented tools developed by QCRI to help address misinformation and information manipulation in social media and in traditional media outlets. These include Tanbih, a news aggregator developed to limit fake news, propaganda, and media bias by promoting media literacy and critical thinking.

The final instalment is a panel discussion titled Responding to Global Crises in the Age of Data and Information Overload. Experts from the QCRI Qatar Center for Artificial Intelligence will discuss the outcomes of COVID-19 covering the physical reality on the ground and the overload of new information.

QCRI Online Lecture Series

QCRI is one of three national research institutes operating under the HBKU umbrella. It conducts world-class multidisciplinary computing research relevant to the needs of Qatar, and the Arab region.

For more information, visit their website at