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Deep Mind, AI and MediTech

 

By Foot Anstey

AI (and DeepMind) in the news again - this time in the arena of healthcare and MediTech.

Evidence has emerged of Google's intent to move into this space by applying machine learning to UK NHS data.

Early days yet, but the suggestion from TechCruch is that it could relate to streamlining and improving aspects around the fringes of healthcare as we know it.  So any fears of walking into your local GP and meeting a robot instead of a doctor may not be here....yet.

AI is certainly in the news a lot at the moment - from:

- DeepMind beating the world's best Go player (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol);

- to potential use in improving Facebook's search through Deep Text (http://mediatech.footanstey.com/post/102dfnk/are-our-worlds-actually-getting-smaller)

- to the need for law to adapt (http://mediatech.footanstey.com/post/102df8f/adapting-the-law-for-an-ai-world)

It's interesting to see all this coverage, and clear where we're going. But, as this TechCrunch piece shows there is a real need for both caution and understanding in how we move forward.  

Laws are strict (and getting stricter) around data protection, sharing and use in particular.  The article discusses in some depth data use in relation to a  recent NHS tech project, and the suggestion seems to be that communication may not always have been as clear as it could have been.

And that's what we need to be mindful of.  The internet provides a great source of data, conspiracy theories, information and leaks.  Controlling the messaging has never been harder or more important.

So the note of caution to those exploring AI in their industries?  Be aware of where the law is, and where it's going.  

Oh and the court of public opinion. 

But the scope of the MoU makes it clear that applying machine learning to public healthcare data is exactly where the ambitions lie here.
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