Opinion


Ramos and Aiken: How artificial intelligence can improve health care

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Policy debates over how to solve problems around access to family doctors, wait times for elective surgery, home care, transfer to long-term care, tracking the over-prescription of opioids and many other serious health dilemmas facing Canadians rarely consider the role artificial intelligence (AI) can and will play in offering solutions. But the potential to realize the benefits of AI requires a proactive policy strategy that is geared to the future rather than a reactive approach, constantly focused on managing current crises. This means solutions for tomorrow rather than today and also will require parsing out how to recognize, trade and access the commodity that drives the "gig economy" – data. The Fraser Institute warned that in the next decade Canada's doctor shortage will only worsen, largely because of an increase in the number retiring physicians that will not be replaced fast enough by new or foreign trained doctors. The Canadian Institute for Health Information found that although wait times are improving for hip surgery, they are getting worse for cataract surgery and are remaining constant for a number of other procedures.



The 20 most popular things our readers bought on Amazon in April

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The 20 most popular things our readers bought on Amazon in April (Photo: Reviewed.com) If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. At the start of every month, we like to look back at what products really caught our readers' eye the previous month. Usually, we see our readers buying a lot of tech gadgets, robot vacuums, and kitchen supplies, but in April, our readers took an even bigger interest in health and beauty products.



How artificial intelligence will change health care

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For the past several years, I have been a consultant and adviser on telehealth, virtual reality in health care, and artificial intelligence. I spent the last week with my colleagues in the Silicon Valley at a Stanford-Google symposium on human and artificial intelligence in health care, as well as other health-care technology meetings. Let me assure you that movies and television that suggest doctors are going to be replaced by AI technologies are incorrect. I've had conversations with venture capitalists who think that will happen, and it is clear to me that they do not understand how health care really works. The mundane and repetitive activities that drive doctors and their staffs crazy may indeed be relegated to AI, but machines will not be making life and death decisions.


Artificial intelligence is more powerful than ever. How do we hold it accountable?

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Entrusting important decisions to a system that can't explain itself presents obvious dangers. Take the case of Eric Loomis, a Wisconsin man sentenced to six years in prison for eluding police while driving a car that had been used in a drive-by shooting. The judge's sentence was based in part on a risk score for Loomis generated by COMPAS, a commercial risk-assessment tool used, according to one study, "to assess more than 1 million offenders" in the last two decades. Loomis appealed his sentence, based on the court's use of the AI-generated risk score, because it relied on a proprietary algorithm whose exact methodology is unknown. COMPAS is designed to estimate an individual's likelihood of committing another crime in the future, but evidence suggests that it may be no better at predicting risk than untrained observers.



Capitalising on artificial intelligence

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SHAQIB Shaik is a software engineer at Microsoft. His artificial intelligence (AI)-driven mobile phone that he helped develop, is able to read out loud a menu sheet as it hovers over the menu. His AI-powered sunglasses, another of his invention, enables him to receive an audio commentary of the scenes observed through the glasses.


Our readers are obsessed with these robot vacuums

USATODAY

It's 2018 and robots have officially taken over--or at least they're in charge while they roam around our floors, picking up everything from dirt to pet hair. Like most technology, robot vacuums are there to make our lives a little bit easier with scheduled cleanings at the press of a button--some even have smartphone apps. This makes those weekly (or monthly, we don't judge) deep, whole-house cleanings less strenuous and time consuming.