Monthly updates from the Policy Change Index projects.
Mercatus Center at George Mason University This Week

Dear Human Readers,

This letter is an especially viral edition on COVID-19, which is profoundly affecting you and your fellow humans.

Public Service Announcement

Stay home!!!


COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). There’s plenty to do at home to help fight the pandemic. Exhibit one: CORD-19. Last week, a massive open dataset of scholarly articles on the coronavirus was released to the public. All this happened because of the White House’s request and a rapid collaboration between three organizations: the National Institutes of Health, Microsoft, and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Natural language processing researchers can now apply their toolkit to the resources and help us better understand this disease. Over 29,000 full text articles have been made available as we speak, and more will come.
New project: PCI-Outbreak. Joining the efforts, the PCI team is actively developing a new product, the PCI-Outbreak, which will investigate how the People’s Daily, China’s version of Pravda, has talked about the coronavirus. Many doubt China’s COVID-19 numbers, to say the least, but little is known about how (in)accurate they really are. The goal of this project is to get a better sense of the real numbers—through the words. We will share more when the machine is ready, so stay tuned.
How about when dust settles? By the time the pandemic passes—if it does—nations around the world will have to regroup and reassess how they deal with China. What will become of the Chinese regime in the aftermath of the coronavirus will have profound implications in years to come. Zhong wrote about this long-term issue in The National Interest this week and explained how the PCI will come in handy for predicting China’s next moves. For those Human Readers who would like an overview of the PCI, Chan and Zhong also published a version of that in the Yale Journal of International Affairs this month.

PCI Resources

The open-sourced PCI projects are meant to crack a window to otherwise opaque political systems, so everyone can look inside—for free. You can find out more about the projects on the PCI website. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Edited by Weifeng Zhong and Julian TszKin Chan


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