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Will Artificial Intelligence Have a Place in Medicine?

Not all that long ago, artificial intelligence (or AI) was a thing of science fiction, envisioned only by daydreamers and sci-fi aficionados. Back then, we wouldn’t have thought that AI would have carved out a role in so many areas of modern production and industry. With as much data as we enter into the digital sphere, we need to find new and innovative ways to access, store and retrieve such information. This is where artificial intelligence could very well find its role in the medical field.

AI Algorithms That Already Show Immense Promise

In response to the demand for a more streamlined process of dealing with digitally-stored medical data, some companies have already jumped at the chance to produce AI algorithms that can assist hospitals and other medical institutions. First, let’s look at IBM’s Medical Sieve.

Medical Sieve

The Medical Sieve algorithm serves the purpose of reading radiology and cardiology imagery. Medical Sieve can detect anomalies that indicate health concerns, which allows for the possibility of allowing radiologists and cardiologists to spend more time focusing on truly complex and more challenging medical cases.

Watson

Another invention to come from IBM is Watson, an algorithm that assists oncologists by reading through structured and unstructured medical data regarding a patient’s case. This essentially allows it to create an evidence-based plan of treatment for an oncologist’s patient.

Deepmind Health

The brain-child of Google’s AI department is in its beginning stages of development, but it shows great promise in providing more efficient and higher quality care to patients by mining the records maintained in the hospital’s system. Google has paired with the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to the goal of assisting eye health patients.

Other Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

The three endeavors outlined above are just the tip of the iceberg. Other companies are working toward implementing AI algorithms into pretty much every aspect of healthcare. From the creation of drugs by making patient trials more efficient, to supporting patients with serious chronic conditions in-between doctor’s visits, there is no arm of medicine that AI isn’t reaching for.

The biggest hurdle that stands in the way of progressing AI into the medical field has little to nothing to do with the abilities of human innovation. What stands to hinder progress more than anything is the human fear of artificial technology. However, these scaled-down AI algorithms are nothing like the sentient-seeming AI monsters of sci-fi that become so sophisticated that they try to take humans down. When responsibility and the utmost caution are utilized to improve lives through the application of artificial intelligence, the good will outweigh the perceived bad.

How Artificial Intelligence Already Touches our Daily Lives

Sure, it could be said that sophisticated AI robots with human features sensationalize where we currently stand in our present-day AI technologies. After all, the vast majority of AI programming is not utilized in robots like Sophia, who debuted in 2016 as the world’s most lifelike AI robot. Most of this technology is used for practical applications, with its use growing more and more common even in areas such as the medical field. While the world has sensationalized its first robot citizen, we find that AI’s contribution to our lives is already quite sensational. Possibly in the future, we could even have AI that could perform civil ceremonies.

Each day, we are surrounded by functioning artificial intelligence. While it may not be as grand-seeming as the AI of sci-fi films, it’s still pretty incredible to think about how far humankind has developed its technological capabilities. Things unheard of a mere twenty years ago are now commonplace today.

How does AI already have a role to play in an ordinary person’s daily life? Read on to find out.

Personal Assisting

Isn’t it great how Alexa, Cortana and Siri can help us keep track of our lives? Virtual personal assistants can crawl through the relevant data on the apps in your phone, computer or other smart device to perform a wide array of functions. From locating restaurants and other places of interest to keeping track of our hectic schedules, virtual Pas are here to stay.

Video Games

AI has been present since the very first videogames, and it has rapidly grown more and more sophisticated as time goes on. Now, AI combatants and allies in games may respond to stimuli, react in unpredictable ways, and overall provide a more genuine gaming experience than ever before.

Anti-Fraud Technology

Have you ever received an email or text alert regarding suspicious purchases made with your credit card? AI algorithms are trained to detect a wide variety of “safe” and “unsafe” purchase transactions and will act appropriately when confronted with an unsafe purchase detected in your bank account.

Social Media

Many businesses rely on social media outlets to reach out to a substantial amount of their current and prospective customers. If you’ve ever seen a company respond to a complaint or question about their product or service on Facebook, there’s a good chance that the operation behind that exchange was due to an AI bot.

As artificial intelligence becomes more and more advanced, we can reasonably expect to have an even closer relationship to AI algorithms than ever before.