DreamLab, the Vodafone Foundation application is not exactly new. It was launched five years ago as a tool to support scientific projects such as the fight against cancer. In 2020, the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London have launched the Corona-AI project to find a therapy against the coronavirus with the selfless help of as many people as possible.
Scientific research requires supercomputers to do complex mathematical calculations, and every bit of help is little. To speed up the process, it is increasingly common to use decentralized processing, breaking down the calculation into small problems that are distributed among several collaborators. DreamLab solves those problems on your mobile while you sleepsending valuable calculations back to the researchers as soon as they’re solved.
Your cell phone works while you sleep
Corona-AI is the latest project available in Dreamlab, and the one that is activated by default to new users today. It is a research project from Imperial College London, which seeks identify molecules in existing drugs and foods with antiviral properties that can be used in coronavirus therapy.
It’s a studio that requires complicated processing, but luckily the mobile takes care of all the hard work. The good thing about DreamLab is that users who want to collaborate on a project they don’t need to do anything in particularexcept for installing the application and donating data and mobile processing.
To help with the research, DreamLab needs two things from you: computing power and data. The processing power means that your phone will be “working hard” while it is collaborating on the program, while the data is used to receive and return problems. The data usage is not too much, although you can set a precise data limit. If you are a Vodafone Spain user, DreamLab data usage does not count on your bill.
Otherwise, there is no need for much more user intervention. After choosing a project you want to collaborate on, you can turn on DreamLab at any time to start processing. Ideally, the system is designed so that you activate it at night when you don’t use your cell phoneIt needs the mobile phone to be connected to the current and the processing needs a lot of time to solve the calculations that are assigned to your mobile.
Today, the Corona-AI project is marked with a 22% completion rateand this is only the first phase of the investigation. Then comes the second phase, which will seek to optimize the combination of molecules found for improved efficacy against coronavirus infections. If you want to do your bit with your current mobile phone or even an old one you have around, any help is welcome, so the more the better.