"Watson" Goes From 'Jeopardy!' To Medical School
'Watson,' the IBM super computer system that defeated the best Jeopardy! players on TV, now wants to go to medical school and beat the algorithms off the other medical computers already in the field. When asked if being late to the market was a concern, the big guy said 'Are you kidding? Once I digest 6 million medical text books and 70 million journal articles, I'll kick every lit cell in their systems out to algorithm heaven!"
Though very confident, Watson still has two years of schooling before he's ready to kick butt, but his fans are delighted with his prospects, especially those who are working with him. Recently, Watson gave the Associated Press (AP) a demonstration at IBM's T.J. Watson's research center. Columbia University medical school professor, Dr. Herbert Chase, and several students were there training Watson.
Chase told the AP that Watson may also be fed personal medical records and even blogs, where people report anecdotal experiences with a disease or treatment. "For at least 30 years it's been clear that it's not possible for us to know everything," he said. "Every day, doctors have questions they can't find the answers to. Even if you sit down at a search engine, it's so labor intensive and it takes so long to find answers."
It became even more clear that doctors need help when Michael Yuan from a Texas medical consulting company, Ringful Health, cited a 1999 study of 103 doctors who fielded 1,100 questions a day and could not answer 64 percent of them. Yikes!
In diagnosing a patient with a list of symptoms, Watson comes up with a variety of possibilities, even the most remote, and the doctor can then relate the likelihood of each possibility to the particular patient. The same for treatment options. Watson could be a patient's best friend, not to mention the doctors' who might be saved from embarrassment, or worse, law suits....
Watson's main competitor has been out in the field helping doctors diagnose patients for about four years now; her name is Isabel. But Watson's trainers don't seem to see her as a threat; they say he's already faster and understands more medical terms.
Goodbye Watson. Hello Doctor Watson!
source: AP via GoogleNews
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