Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SAN FRANCISCO - Sep 09, 2020 - Covid Wire (covidwire.news) launched today in five U.S. metropolitan areas — Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle — providing a one-stop source for localized information about the coronavirus pandemic. Covid Wire is on a mission to ensure every American community has access to trustworthy local news and information about the pandemic, to stay informed and make rational decisions.
Covid Wire aggregates pandemic-oriented information from credible news sources and presents articles in a simple feed that is navigable by zip code. The curated feed only displays actionable information, omitting opinion pieces and highly politicized material. Search results are delivered in order of timeliness and relevance to a user’s location.
“Covid Wire elevates access to reliable and relevant news in local communities. The site caters to people who are looking for up to date information but may not have the knowledge or time to locate resources scattered across channels. By providing trustworthy information via an easy to access medium, we hope to promote the health and safety of our communities, combat the spread of misinformation through unchecked social media channels, and align communities on a shared vision of a safer future for everyone.” — Jeffrey Lin, Co-founder
The website runs a proprietary algorithm through a pre-set list of news publications to locate articles related to the pandemic. Articles are tagged with geographic information using a proprietary natural language processing algorithm to extract the appropriate location names and the Google Maps API to attach those names to geographic space. Humans moderate the feed, ensuring quality results. The output for readers is simple: anyone can search for information relevant to their location and browse a simple feed containing summaries of the latest local COVID-19 news.
“The Covid Wire back end is not a single piece of software, but a pipeline of ‘transformer’ layers working in concert. Each layer constitutes a small, discrete part of a machine with an ambitious goal: to connect users with actionable, high-quality updates on the global COVID-19 pandemic, as witnessed through the vantage point of their communities. By using an ensemble of state-of-the-art machine learning models trained on vast numbers of human-labeled articles, we’ve created a system capable of generating a plausible answer that conforms to human intuition regarding when and where an should article should be shown 8 or 9 times out of 10.” — Kevin Zeidler, Senior Developer
Within the year, Covid Wire will expand into every American community. In the long term, the tools powering Covid Wire will be developed to create an open-source information aggregation platform that can be deployed in response to any emergency event impacting local communities.