The future is looking a whole lot less human and a whole lot more robotic, thanks to Big Tech’s proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) spy devices like Amazon’s Alexa that are reportedly well on their way to replacing the entire medical profession.
Within the next 20 years, reports indicate, these in-home AI surveillance gadgets, which also include Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, are expected to successfully “learn” how to become “virtual medical coaches” – meaning patients will no longer have to visit flesh-and-blood doctors to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, depression, asthma, and high blood pressure.
According to a 100-page document written by Eric Topal, a geneticist from the United States, AI robots will eventually have the capacity to not only manage patient treatment protocols, but also make medical diagnoses in place of real-life medical professionals.
“Over the next 20 years, three changes will inevitably happen,” Topal is quoted as saying.
“More and more people will have their genome sequenced; patients will generate and interpret much more of their own health data at home; and the speed, accuracy and scalability of medical data interpretation from artificial intelligence will grow exponentially,” he adds.
What this all suggests is that medicine as it’s currently being practiced is rapidly becoming “obsolete,” at least to “progress”-obsessed tech geeks, and will soon be replaced by soulless robots that will somehow “know” how to provide “care” for patients – at least the type of “care” that government programs them to provide, anyway.
“These developments will change patients lives, change how clinicians work and change how healthcare services are delivered,” Topal claims. “This is happening now and the NHS (National Health Service) is ideally placed to take it further, faster and wider if we act to give our staff the skills and knowledge they need to make them the norm across the NHS.”
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U.K. authorities want all doctors to start offering “digital appointments” in the next five years
Like some kind of dystopian sci-fi novel, the plan is to eventually have all patients wear sensors – implantable microchips, anyone? – that track and monitor them at all times, relaying their health status to the AI “mothership” in order to facilitate its “deep learning” ability.
When the system detects an abnormality, it can then “pre-empt hospitalization” without requiring an actual, living human being present to make that judgment call.
“[This] has the potential to achieve prevention for patients at high risk of a particular illness, or at the very least help a person self-manage a chronic condition,” the report explains, adding that such a paradigm is possible through the merging of “genomics, sensors and artificial intelligence.”
“Similarly, the integration and analysis of data from multiple sources, including vital-sign data, will underpin real-time monitoring of patients to pre-empt hospitalization,” it further adds.
To get the ball rolling, Matt Hancock, the health secretary in the U.K. who commissioned the report, has publicly indicated that he wants every practicing doctor in the U.K. to begin offering “digital appointments” within the next five years.
By the year 2023, he wants online consultations to become the “standard,” with appointments being held on Skype or Google Hangouts, as opposed to in actual doctors’ offices.
And as for how the always-listening microphones inside Alexa, Siri, and Cortana will play into all of this, the report suggests that these so-called “smart” speakers will be lending their ears, 24/7, to monitoring and detecting patient behavior in order to send alerts about anything that seems “off.”
“The report also suggests that smart speakers are also a more versatile technology that can be used as ‘mental health triage bots,’ engaging in conversations while analyzing text and audio for suicidal ideas and emotions,” reveals IT Pro.
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