Edmonton Startup Trying To Get People Ahead of Future Pandemics

After the COVID-19 virus took its toll on the world population late in 2019 and into 2020, there were many people wondering what we could have done to prevent a pandemic from spreading so quickly around the world. It’s clear that there’s going to be another major virus in the future if history has taught us anything, but how do we get ahead of it so that we’re better prepared for the future? Well, for one Edmonton company, the answer might be in social media.

The company is known as Social Asset Management, or SAM for short. When people post on social media from a certain part of the world, it might give a clue as to what’s happening, and if something like a virus can become a widespread problem. James Neufeld is the founder of SAM, and says that “Our system scans billions of pieces of content on platforms such as Twitter and emergency feeds to discover correlations.”

Neufeld adds that “We’ve built an AI engine that can identify an event in one part of the world and decipher if it is unfolding as an emergency, such as a school lockdown or an outbreak, earlier than anyone else. That information is extremely valuable to devise a strategic response in a crisis. We think this is a groundbreaking development in AI that helps move society forward.”

SAM was first founded in 2013, but the importance of the company’s use of artificial intelligence and social media monitoring was brought to the forefront with the outbreak of the coronavirus. With that, the company received a large investment of over $3.5 million to enhance their operations even further. One investor, Brian Craig, said that “The SAM platform can help predict a crisis earlier, allowing organizations to react more quickly.”