Wat­son has a lot to learn

The Week (US) - - 18 News -

IBM’s Wat­son su­per­com­puter was sup­posed to rev­o­lu­tion­ize how can­cer is treated, but so far, it’s “nowhere close,” said Casey Ross and Ike Swetlitz in StatNews.com. Wat­son for On­col­ogy uses ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to an­a­lyze huge amounts of data, in­clud­ing doc­tors’ notes, med­i­cal stud­ies, and clin­i­cal guide­lines, to rec­om­mend the best treat­ments. But the re­sults have been un­der­whelm­ing, ac­cord­ing to in­ter­views with doc­tors, IBM ex­ec­u­tives, and AI ex­perts. Only a few dozen hos­pi­tals are us­ing the sys­tem, which “is still strug­gling with the ba­sic step of learn­ing about dif­fer­ent forms of can­cer.” Wat­son also hasn’t been able to gen­er­ate new in­sights or ap­proaches, be­cause its de­ci­sions are based on its train­ing by a hand­ful of U.S. doc­tors. That has also led to com­plaints of bias to­ward Amer­i­can med­i­cal prac­tices.

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