It’s fun to complain that powerful Artificial General Intelligence (Hal-AI), the kind destined to enslave us, hasn’t yet cured cancer. But, focusing too much on what Hal-AI can’t yet do makes it easy to overlook the accomplishments of what Practical Artificial Intelligence (Siri-AI) can.
For example, consider a recent article by Dr. Dave Levin, former CMIO for the Cleveland Clinic. He claims that AI currently offers little of value to healthcare, “Chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension… recognizing and treating acute conditions like sepsis, heart attacks and strokes… better prenatal care, prevention and wellness. This is where the vast burden of illness, suffering and costs lie… AI likely has little to offer here of immediate value and can divert resources and attention from these harder (and frankly less sexy) needs.”
However, it is precisely in these large, “less sexy” areas where Siri-AI holds great promise. Siri-AI has the potential to improve the management of chronic disease like diabetes, prevent common problems like sepsis caused by pressure ulcers, and empower less expensive preventative care.