Cured by Artificial Intelligence

You may not have realised it, but we have probably reached that point of inflexion, already. That point when you are probably better off trusting your life to an Artificially Intelligent System. Technology has been used for a while to solve medical problems. For example, computers are already believed to detect cancer in an image more efficiently than humans. Similarly, surgery conducted by a machine is more efficient than the hand of a person; even if the human is operating it from the background for now. One can disagree, but perhaps the most important aspect of medical science is the underlying science itself.

Historically, research and discovery occurred at a slow pace. The change was few and far between. Today, this happens almost on a daily basis, and new information is put out onto the Internet in digital form. It has become impossible for any human being to keep up with the torrent of information. Merely reading the research is insufficient. Each new bit of research needs to be understood and ranked regarding its relative importance. Probability has to be estimated for its possible impact on the issue at hand. Does your ailment need surgery or medication for example? A problem of this nature is where computers are already beginning to excel. A computer making a choice is not much different to a trained physician making a decision to medicate you with one type of medicine or another. She relies on her current knowledge to make that choice. The computer would do the same in micro-seconds after scouring the world-wide available knowledge graph. It is self-evident that the computer would win this battle.

In the very near future, medical decisions will, therefore, be taken by Artificially Intelligent systems. The system will diagnose, medicate and potentially operate on you, depending on the nature of your disease. Who said anything about AI overtaking humans? More likely, it will be saving us on an everyday basis. Don’t fret, humans will be around for post operative care.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.