The arrival of artificial intelligence and its ilk -- cognitive computing, deep machine learning -- has felt like a vague distant future state for so long that it's tempting to think it's still decades away from practicable implementation at the point of care. And while many use cases today are admittedly still the exception rather than the norm, some examples are emerging to make major healthcare providers take note. Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, for instance, recently examined open source algorithms and machine learning tools in public health reporting: The tools bested human reviewers in detecting cancer using pathology reports and did so faster than people. Indeed, more and more leading health systems are looking at ways to harness the power of AI, cognitive computing and machine learning. "Our initial application of deep learning convinced me that these methods have great value to healthcare," said Andy Schuetz, a senior data scientist at Sutter Health's Research Development and Dissemination Group.
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At Harvard Business School (HBS), MBA students are pondering a future when robots rule the road. The pioneers of the driverless car movement -- such as Google and Tesla -- are mapping the MBAs a future in which artificial intelligence and robotics will likely impact the entire job market and global economy. David Yoffie, professor of international business administration at HBS, believes such disruptive technologies are now an "essential" part of the b-school landscape. "What I'm trying to teach students is: What can these technologies deliver? And what are the challenges and opportunities for a company that does AI?" he says.
One of the biggest differences between machine learning and deep learning is the effort that goes into making the algorithms work. With machine learning, data scientists have to perform a task called feature engineering. "People get the incoming data, and they prepare it, and they clean it, and they maybe manipulate it in a way that's going to give them the relevant information," said Edd Wilder-James, former vice president of technology strategy at Silicon Valley Data Science and now an open source strategist at Google's TensorFlow, during a presentation at the Strata Data Conference. Looking to establish accountability across disparate project teams? Trying to automate processes or allow for lean methodology support?