IBM Watson may have shifted from the all-knowing doctor to patient, ending up in critical condition in the Information Care Unit (ICU). Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images Nothing kills a bad idea faster than good advertising. Yet, the diffusion of information into a system can be essential—especially in medicine. So the balance between the kind of stuff that “sticks to the roof of your customer’s brain” and valuable information can be tricky and even contradictory. For most of us, the introduction of Watson’s skill set wasn’t as a peer-reviewed paper published in a top academic journal—it was a guy name Ken Jennings and the popular TV game show Jeopardy. After a winning streak of 74 shows, Jennings took on IBM Watson and the rest is history. Even Jennings pronounced his skills as “obsolete” in his TED Talk explaining how the computer beat him at his own game.
IBM Watson became famous and IBM didn’t stop there. They made IBM Watson “the best AI for the job”.
And that included medicine. According to their website, Watson supports cancer care in more than 230 hospitals and health organizations.
Dr. Watson even became a bit of a darling of digital health evangelists who (I included) extolled the virtue of artificial intelligence and the demise of mortal physician. However, IBM Watson may have shifted from the all-knowing doctor to a patient, ending up in critical condition in the Information Care Unit (ICU).
Recent stories by STAT News (subscription required) and extensive follow up coverage have chronicled the potential problems for Watson in Oncology. STAT’s reporting suggests that Watson recommended “unsafe and incorrect” cancer treatment recommendations. Read more from bbntimes.com…
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