In the age of A.I - Part 2: It heals us

The story of AlphaGo might sound appealing but then having a super AI to play chess with you is not the case in this century. We, as ordinary people, do not mind how intelligent an AI can be but what it can help us with. Can AI make any impact on our life?

The answer is yes. In this part, we will look through the application of AI in one of the most focused areas: the healthcare field.


Medicine has long been a promising field for AI applications. From diagnosing images, interpreting images and zeroing in on treatment plans, and giving advice based on input data, AI has been doing very well, surpassing humans.

AI is already being used to detect diseases, such as cancer, more accurately. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 healthy women are told they have cancer because mammograms yield false results. The use of AI enables the review and translation of mammograms 30 times faster with 99% accuracy, reducing the wrong prediction.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the lead causes of blindness worldwide. This is particularly true in India. While in the U.S, there are 74 eye doctors for every 1 million people, in India, there are only 11.

The shortage of doctors has led to an increase in the proportion of patients who do not receive a diagnosis in time, thereby increasing the rate of blindness in India. To prevent more people from experiencing vision loss, doctors decided to use AI. An AI model is trained to recognize early signs of disease through retina images.

Other medical devices combined with AI are also being applied to monitor early-stage heart disease, detect potentially life-threatening episodes at earlier, more treatable stages.

More than just a tool to help doctors diagnose, AI can now cure disabilities or help people with disabilities have a better life.

Dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost a leg in 2013 in a terrorist attack. Thanks to AI technology, she can dance again.

Tim Shaw, a former American football player, has been heavily affected by ALS syndrome, a rare neurological disease that primarily affects the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. Tim was an energetic and open person. But now he cannot usually talk as he used to.

Scientists have been researching speech recognition to help ALS patients like Tim.

Speech recognition is a subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops technologies that enable the recognition and translation of spoken language into text by computers.

Tim Shaw participated enthusiastically in the voice data collection program. Using his voice data, scientists can train a model to recognize what he intends to say. This deep learning model is trained to map input sounds to output words from millions of voice samples. Then the algorithm uses rules such as grammar and syntax to predict correct words in a sentence. This is how AI can know the difference between “they’re”, “their”, and “there”.

“As I am losing a lot in my life, one thing I stand by, if it’s worth doing, I’ll do it.” - said, Tim Shaw.

In the end, scientists have successfully brought a gift to Tim. Not only recognizes what Tim says, but the AI also transforms that into Tim’s synthetic voice, the voice that he has long lost.

Tim is one of the millions of people who received help from AI. To improve human life now and in the future, artificial intelligence can speed up the development of treatments, vaccines, and preventive measures for everyone.

The examples above are all in the physical category. What about spiritually? Can AI heal a soul?

Meet Akihiko Kondo and Hatsune Miku.

Kondo's relationship with real women has been painful, so he chose a virtual partner. Hatsune Miku is a simple form of AI which can respond to a person’s words. In November 2018, Kondo married Miku. He placed a ring around the wrist of a Miku doll. He now keeps the beauty in his bedroom.

Even though it's hard to believe, relationships between humans and AI, which only existed in science fiction movies before now, started to appear in the real world.

In today's nursing homes, robots with AI have been applied to make friends with elders. Advanced technologies help recognize emotions on their faces. Combined with researchers' massive data, computers can provide mental treatment solutions and even prevent suicide.

The potential future for AI and healthcare is that there is no healthcare anymore. Because nobody needs it, you can have an AI to predict any symptom and preemptively create the antibodies, an AI that can cure your mental illness and keep you happy and healthy every day. There is still a lot of research to be conducted, but AI is evolving very fast. In a 2018 Deloitte survey of 1,100 US managers whose organizations were already pursuing AI, 63% of companies surveyed were employing machine learning in their businesses. This is really just the beginning.

The end of part 02.

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