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A new artificial intelligence platform has demonstrated its ability to provide health advice that is as good as a human doctor’s, according to research published on the preprint server The technology, which has been developed by British company Babylon Health, takes the form of a mobile phone app, or website, that patients interact with via a chat service.

(A voice-controlled version will also be available soon.) The AI system has been put through rigorous testing that took place in collaboration with the U.K.’s Royal College of Physicians, as well as researchers from Stanford University and the Yale New Haven Health System. Part of this testing involved the system taking a medical diagnosis exam that trainee primary care physicians in the U.K.

must pass to be able to practice independently. Remarkably, the AI doctor scored 81 percent on its first attempt.

The average pass mark over the past five years for real doctors was 72 percent. In everyday situations, though, doctors are presented with a much wider range of illnesses and conditions than exams can assess. Read more from…

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