IBM Watson, the supercomputer that debuted on Jeopardy with a face-off against two human, soon-to-be-vanquished competitors, is now going to medical school.
At Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York City, Watson has been learning medical skills by going through exam books to learn how to diagnose, utilizing both medical literature and electronic health records.
The goal of the project is to have the supercomputer serve as an assistant to doctors, able to point them toward crucial data and a diagnosis. This will serve as a tool to combat the negative effects of the predicted shortage of medical doctors.
While the program is still in a trial phase, the hurdles that are being sorted out include the removal of Urban Dictionary as one of its information references. Yes, that’s right, the very same site where you look up the obscure slang term you thought you created yourself.
More struggles will be sorted out, such as the implementation of further electronic health records by setting them up in a uniform manner, as well as convincing doctors of its usefulness.
The innovation and advancement of technology is occurring every day, but when you actually hear about how it’s being applied to our world, it really comes to life.