Robo-Doc will see you?
Maybe, but not just now.
This item popped up from the usual suspect tabloid paper sites while searching on AI and memristors.
I have tracked down a couple of more reputable sources so, here goes from China Daily (which is also on the spot):
>>A robot has passed the written test of China’s national medical licensing examination, an essential entrance exam for doctors, making it the first robot in the world to pass such an exam.
Its developer iFlytek Co Ltd, a leading Chinese artificial intelligence company, said on Thursday that the robot scored 456 points, 96 points higher than the required marks.
The artificial-intelligence-enabled robot can automatically capture and analyze patient information and make initial diagnosis. It will be used to assist doctors to improve efficiency in future treatments, iFlytek said.
This is part of broader efforts by China to accelerate the application of AI in healthcare, consumer electronics, and other industries.
Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek, said, “We will officially launch the robot in March 2018. It is not meant to replace doctors. Instead, it is to promote better people-machine cooperation so as to boost efficiency.”>>
Futurism dot com adds, on the wider trend:
>>With both governments and private companies intent on putting AI to good use, one of the first fields in which AI technologies are being applied has been medical research and healthcare. Most are familiar with IBM’s Watson, which has made significant headway in AI-assisted cancer diagnosis and in improving patient care in hospitals.
Then there’s Amazon with the Echo and AI-powered virtual assistant Alexa, which has been present in the healthcare field for a while now. Similarly, Google’s DeepMind Health is working on using machine learning to supplement healthcare processes in the United Kingdom.
In the same manner, iFlytek plans to have Xiaoyi assist human doctors in order to improve their efficiency in future treatments.>>
China Daily also notes: “In July, China unveiled a national plan to build a 1 trillion yuan ($152.5 billion) AI core industry by 2030.” Futurism further comments: “China is already a leading contender on the global AI stage, surpassing the United States in AI research, in an ultimate effort to become a frontrunner in AI development by 2030. The country’s determination, driven by the realization that AI is the new battleground for international development, could put the U.S. behind China in this worldwide AI race.”
Colour me just a tad skeptical.
First, back in the 1980’s Japan spent a lot on a
fourth [–> fifth, HT DS] generation, AI-intense computer initiative, which long since faltered. This is part of the pattern whereby AI comes and goes in waves, so some healthy balance on that track record will be helpful.
Going further, South China Morning Post clarifies that what we see is that the robot was essentially “fed” with textbook and research data:
>>The first time round in a practice run, Xiaoyi barely scored 100 out of a possible 600 points in China’s medical licensing exam.
It was a disappointing result – the pass mark is 360 – but Xiaoyi then knuckled down, absorbing the contents of dozens of medical textbooks, 2 million medical records, and 400,000 articles to develop the kind of reasoning needed to be a doctor, The Beijing News reported on the weekend.
Xiaoyi took the real test in August and, according to the results released earlier this month, romped it in with a score of 456.
In doing so, Xiaoyi, meaning “Little Doctor”, became the first artificial intelligence robot to pass the exam, taking a fraction of the allowed time to complete the test, according to iFlyTek which developed the machine with Tsinghua University.>>
In short, we have an AI with a robot front end that has been loaded with a knowledge base and likely a heuristic inference engine that references the information base and applies structured
CONCLUDE ON ACTIONS
type chained inferential programming.
Yes, that is an achievement.
But it is not the same as creative judgement or even ability to make real world observations, interact with a patient, spot subtle cues and draw well-judged inferences. However, that will be enough, doubtless to serve as a software assistant for a medical practitioner.
No, hype notwithstanding, this is not anywhere near to self-aware, conscious, reasoning, responsible professional judgement and creative intuition. END