福島県立医科大学 ２０１７年度 第１問 問題
Most people know Watson as IBM’s answer to Jeopardy star Ken Jennings. But IBM’s ambitions for its artificially intelligent supercomputer are now less quiz show champion and more medical genius.
Watson, the supercomputer that is now the world Jeopardy champion, basically went to medical school after it won Jeopardy. MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, said recently in an interview with Small Planet, “I’m convinced that if it’s not already the world’s best diagnostician, it will be soon.”
Watson is already capable of storing far more medical information than doctors, and unlike humans, its decisions are all evidence-based and free of cognitive biases and (1)overconfidence. It’s also capable of understanding natural language, generating hypotheses, evaluating the strength of those hypotheses, and learning ー not just storing data, but finding meaning in it.
As IBM scientists continue to train Watson to apply its vast stores of knowledge to actual medical decision-making, it’s likely just a matter of time before its diagnostic performance surpasses that of even the sharpest doctors.
Back in 2011, McAfee wrote on his blog about (2)why a diagnosis from “Dr.Watson” would be a game changer:
(A) It covers all available medical knowledge. Human doctors can’t possibly hold this much information in their heads, or keep up with it as it changes over time. Dr.Watson knows it all and never overlooks or forgets anything.
(B) It’s accurate. If Dr.Watson is as good at medical questions as the current Watson is at game show questions, it will be an excellent diagnostician indeed.
(C) It’s consistent. Given the same inputs, Dr.Watson will always output the same diagnosis. Inconsistency is a surprisingly large and common mistake among human medical professionals, even experienced ones. And Dr.Watson is always available and never annoyed, sick, nervous, hungover, upset, sleep-deprived, or so on.
(D) It has very low running costs. It’ll be very expensive to build and train Dr.Watson, but once it’s up and running, the cost of doing one more diagnosis with it is essentially zero, unless it orders test.
(E) It can be offered anywhere in the world. If a person has access to a computer or mobile phone, Dr.Watson is on call for them.
Watson has read dozens of textbooks, all of PubMed and Medline (two massive databases of medical journals), and thousands of patient records from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Altogether, “Watson has analyzed 605,000 pieces of medical evidence, 2 million pages of text, 25,000 training cases and had the assistance of 14,700 clinician hours fine-tuning its decision accuracy,” Forbes reported in 2013.
And it’s getting “smarter” every year. So how would Dr.Watson work in practice? Here’s how IBM describes the process:
First, the physician might describe symptoms and other related factors to the system. (3)Watson can then identify the key pieces of information and analyze the patient’s data to find relevant facts about family medical history, current medications and other existing conditions. (4)It combines this information with current findings from tests, and then forms and tests hypotheses by examining a variety of data sources. From here, Watson can provide potential treatment options.
The supercomputer’s potential is huge, but ー as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year ― currently “just a handful of customers are using Watson in their daily business,” and it’s far from performing at the level and in the range of domains that should be possible in the future.
So far, IBM’s most high-profile AI (Artificial Intelligence) partnerships are with MD Anderson Cancer Center, where Watson helps recommend leukemia treatments, and WellPoint, where Watson helps the insurer evaluate doctors’ treatment plans. WellPoint claims that the system is already significantly better than human doctors at diagnosing lung cancer.
Watson is not yet able to use all the information it has absorbed, so it still has a long way to go before it catches up with our best human diagnosticians, whose versatility and agility are difficult to match. But Watson’s ability to learn, analyze, and apply knowledge suggests that it will get there ― eventually.
(Bisiness Insider, April 22, 2014, modified)
Jeopardy: a quiz show televised in the United States in which Ken Jennings appears
diagnostician: a specialist or expert who identifies the medical condition of an illness
clinician: a doctor having direct contact with patients
fine-tuning: delicately adjusting
symptoms＜symptom: a sign which shows a condition of disease
medications＜medication: medical treatment using drugs
leukemia: a serious disease in which too many white blood cells are produced, causing weakness and sometimes death
WellPoint: a health network company in the United States
insurer: a company that provides people with insurance
versatility: the capability of doing many things competently
agility: the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly
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