IBM Research — Haifa at the IBM Research Colloquium “The Future of Healthcare” Addresses the Complexity of Human Language
Presentation by: Dafna Sheinwald PhD, byline Susan Eustis
IBM Watson does not take the place of a physician, it provides advice to physicians. IT technology can significantly extend what any one physician knows. In this context, the IBM researchers are reaching out to the common person to explain how technology can be extended by physicians to help them.
The context and the human condition are supported by computers in new ways as illustrated by the new computer Watson implementation. Watson can diagnosis a large variety of human disease conditions more quickly and and more accurately than a human can, buy it is limited by the vagaries of human language. Watson helps people to address challenges in disease diagnosis by permitting them to lean on computing power. The complexity of human language is providing a example of how well a physician can achieve direction in making a diagnosis. The computer is equally dependent on human language for input, the the IBM researchers are developing categories that are layered by levels of difficulty.
Watson can provide decision support in an efficient manner. There are ever expanding open domains of health care diagnostic categories. It is necessary to ask Watson questions in a specific manner in order to get a good answer. The treatments recommended by Watson need to be judged by a physician to see if they make sense.
This is a result of the limitations of human language.
Susan Eustis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org