TIP has compiled this list of terms in order to help policy makers in their understanding of tech issues.
Algorithm: A set of rules and procedures that a computer can follow to complete a certain task.
Application Programming Interface (API): An API provides a framework for developers to create their own programs. It is a collection of potential operations that programmers can develop to suit their needs.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence is a system designed to accomplish a task that normally requires human intelligence. AI systems “learn” how to do things by processing large amounts of information, finding patterns, and translating that knowledge to tasks.
Bluetooth: A wireless technology used to transmit data between devices in a close range.
BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has a very low power consumption and is ideal for transmitting small amounts of data periodically.
Central Server: A computer system that provides services to multiple users. A server may also store and control access to data or other resources.
Contact log: Contact logs are records which store the contact IDs of those with whom the user interacted, and other relevant information, like the time of contact.
Contact Tracing (CT): CT is the process of identifying exposed individuals who have come into contact with diagnosed individuals, as well as potentially notifying users of areas where there is a high risk of contracting COVID-19. CT requires the use of a central server, accessible by health authorities, to log the contacts of infected persons.
Database: A database consists of one or many datasets that have been organized and retained in a system/software program.
Dataset: A collection of data.
Distribution Curve: A graph of the frequency of different values.
Exposure Notification (EN): An EN ap-plication logs the contacts of each user and stores this information on their individual devices, and not on a central server. If a user identifies themselves as testing positive for COVID-19, the users with whom they have come into contact are notified that they may have been exposed to the virus.
Feature vector: A numerical representation of a person’s facial features, computed by an AI algorithm.
GPS: Global Positioning System (GPS) uses satellites to determine the latitude and longitude of an object.
ID: A contact ID is a series of randomized characters broadcasted by a user’s device throughout the day. Upon encountering another user, their IDs are exchanged and then stored in their respective contact logs.
If a user later tests positive for COVID-19, their IDs from the previous 14 days are cross-referenced with those in other contact logs, so users who came into contact with the infected user can be notified.
Match Score: A score between 0 and 1, indicating the likelihood that a pair of images depict the same person.
Match Score Threshold: A value between 0 and 1 – pairs with match scores above this value will be flagged as matches.
One-to-many: FR system that compares one photo to many photos of different people. It aims to answer the question: “Who is this person?”
One-to-one: FR system that compares one photo to many photos of the same person. It aims to answer the question: “Is this the same person?”
Open source: Code (written in a programming language) that is “open source”
is freely available to the public. An open source platform ensures that transparency, assuages public security concerns, and enables easier troubleshooting.
Publicly Available Information (PAI): Publicly Available Information is information readily available via the internet, social media platforms, etc.
Token: The token generates each user’s contact IDs. With EN, the user’s device creates a new token every day, which then generates IDs that are broadcast throughout the day. With CT, the server creates a new token every day, and that token then generates IDs for every connected device.