Can Artificial Intelligence Driven Supercomputers Replace Doctors?

IBM Watson

Ever since the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI), many people have lost their jobs as machines are continuously being preferred when it comes to doing quite a number of jobs better than humans can do.

These devices are usually driven by powerful AI algorithms that are beyond the human scope in terms of providing faster and more accurate results. In fact, IBM has already developed one of these machines and rather than just call it a supercomputer, the American company has a name for it – Watson.

Over the past few days, Watson has been the source of controversy in the medical industry. The supercomputer has now been used for several months in a number of Korean medical institutions led by Gachon University Gil Medical Center that is based in Incheon. The center has gone in the books of Korean history after becoming the first in the country to use AI to examine as well as treat cancer patients. This entire thing begun in October 2016 and over the past few days, the center says that Watson has helped diagnose up to 85 cancer patients. Interestingly, the supercomputer is receiving rave reviews from both the medical staff and patients.

Being a supercomputer, Watson leverages its power to scan through a huge amount of data faster and more accurately, something that the medical center reports as its biggest advantage when it comes to patient care. As long as the data of the patient has been entered, the rest will be done in just a matter of seconds.

With these impressive reviews that have now seen some people start thinking of Watson or rather AI as an ideal replacement for human diagnostics and patient care, the question that now begs answers is that, can AI really replace doctors in, for instance, cancer diagnostics and treatment?

IBM WatsonAccording to critics, Watson still needs human expertise in order to perform its job effectively. This is because a patient’s information must be entered by a human doctor, which makes the idea of the supercomputer becoming a substitute for human diagnostics not feasible.

On the contrary, the center sees Watson (AI) as an assistant whose role is to improve the speed and accuracy at which hospitals attend to cancer patients. Officials from the Gil Medical Center are even going ahead to comment that other medical professionals are overly exaggerating the power of this supercomputer.

Still, the issues on Watson and AI are still up for debate as no conclusion has been reached just yet. But do you think AI can really succeed in replacing doctors? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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