Dr. Watson Unsafe and Incorrect?

Five years ago I wrote about Dr. Watson and how it won’t replace doctors.  I actually wrote about it before that in the former Placebo Journal blog.  I thought it was interesting that this just came out:

Internal IBM documents show that its Watson supercomputer often spit out erroneous cancer treatment advice and that company medical specialists and customers identified “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations” as IBM was promoting the product to hospitals and physicians around the world.

Oops.  I don’t want to say I told you so but…..

Truth be told I do think that Watson will get better at this type of stuff.  Where it will ALWAYS fail is in picking up the nuances of medicine. You can’t just plug in weight gain, fatigue, and hair loss and expect hypothyroidism to be the answer.

I now expect Gomerblog or The Onion to talk about Dr. Watson being put on a PIP (performance improvement plan) and be subject to a State Board of Medicine review whereupon he contemplates quitting medicine as he sits in a car doing a J.  That is what I would do.  The parody part, I mean.

Oh, and let’s call this whole Dr. Watson thing what it is, shall we? It’s just another way for administrators to replace us. As a physician I would embrace IBM and Watson that at your own peril.

Listen to one of Dr. Farrago’s podcasts here

119620cookie-checkDr. Watson Unsafe and Incorrect?