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Home / Tech / Facebook, Microsoft partner with WHO to host ‘Build for Covid-19 hackathon’

Facebook, Microsoft partner with WHO to host ‘Build for Covid-19 hackathon’

Other technology firms such as Twitter, TikTok, Slack, Giphy, Twitter, and Pinterest are also participating in the hackathon.

tech Updated: Mar 25, 2020 14:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
This global hackathon is to encourage engineers build technology-based solutions to fight Covid-19 pandemic.
This global hackathon is to encourage engineers build technology-based solutions to fight Covid-19 pandemic.(REUTERS)

Microsoft and Facebook have partnered with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to conduct a global hackathon to encourage engineers build technology-based solutions to fight Covid-19 pandemic. Other technology firms such as Twitter, TikTok, Slack, Giphy, Twitter, and Pinterest are also participating in the hackathon, dubbed as “#BuildforCovid19hackathon.”

Announcing the hackathon, Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post: “Hackathons have always been an important part of how we come up with new ideas and projects at Facebook -- features like Blood Donations and Crisis Response were first built during hackathons and are now used by millions of people worldwide. I’m hopeful that some useful prototypes and ideas will come out of this one as well.”

The hackathon will be held on March 26. Apart from tech firms, WHO and scientists from the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub will also join the hackathon.

Technology firms are chipping in the global fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Apart from donations, these firms are also making their premium solutions available to users working remotely for free. Google has introduced an informational website for the coronavirus. Microsoft has also introduced a Bing-powered intractive map.

The announcement follows a consortium on Covid-19 to share high performing computing resources to fight the pandemic.

Under the COVID-19 HighPerformance Computing Consortium, IBM will give 16 systems with capacity of more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, 34,000 GPUs.

“These high-performance computing systems allow researchers to run very large numbers of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling. These experiments would take years to complete if worked by hand, or months if handled on slower, traditional computing platforms,” wrote Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research in a post.