By Aaron Kesel
University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Alan Turing Institute aim to bring ‘game-changing’ benefits of artificial intelligence to NHS patients and replace some workers, The Guardian reported.
The tasks traditionally performed by doctors and nurses, from diagnosing cancer on CT scans to deciding which A&E patients are seen first, will now be able to be conducted by A.I.
“It’s going to be a game-changer,” Prof Bryan Williams, director of research at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said. “You can go on your phone and book an airline ticket, decide what movies you’re going to watch or order a pizza … it’s all about AI,” he added. “On the NHS, we’re nowhere near sophisticated enough. We’re still sending letters out, which is extraordinary.”
As a result, the researchers hope that machine learning algorithms can provide new ways of diagnosing disease, identifying people at risk of illness. This will allow human resources to be directed where needed.
The project will focus on improving the hospital’s emergency room, which is failing to meet government waiting time standards according to the Guardian.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond in the U.S., the Army is discussing using implantable monitoring devices in soldiers to monitor their health as well as utilizing robotic surgeries while on the field, Army Times reported.
That’s not all that researchers are hoping robots can accomplish. Scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine have developed an automated system that uses robots to produce mini-organs from stem cells. According to Science Daily, the ability to mass produce what the scientists call “organoids” promises to expand the use of mini-organs for use in basic research and testing.
“This is a new ‘secret weapon’ in our fight against disease,” researcher Benjamin Freedman told Science Daily. Although a 2015-2016 U.S. study found that robot surgery was linked to the deaths of 144 people over the period of 14 years, NBC reported. The causes of death included parts falling into patients’ bodies, machines turning off/on at the wrong time and loss of video feeds.
“Despite widespread adoption of robotic systems… a non-negligible number of technical difficulties and complications are still being experienced during procedures,” the study wrote. In other words, remember that robots malfunction.
Robots are also coming for the tech industry and factory work as iPhone manufacturer Foxconn replaced a massive 60,000 workers.
Recently Activist Post reported that even finance wasn’t safe from the robot apocalypse. China Construction Bank (CCB),opened a Shanghai branch run entirely by robots in a testing phase for finance with little to no human involvement.
Robots are beginning to take over every aspect of society. They are also headed for retail businesses delivering freight and eliminating truckers. But, again, robots malfunction. In fact, it sounds quite dangerous allowing a freight truck to drive itself; if the sensors break down on a big rig truck going 60-70 MPH, that’s potentially 40 tons barreling down the highway unattended except by artificial intelligence. As Activist Post reported back in March, Uber had to halt nationwide testing of its A.I. vehicles following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona. And that was a car actually attended by a human back-up operator.
Automation clearly isn’t a foolproof technology, and it can also be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes that could even include programming a bot to kill an individual.
I also foresee McDonald’s and other fast food chains and big corporations like Wal-Mart potentially being robbed as people steal products while a single human attends the machines.
Not even journalists are safe from robot replacements.
All this sets a potentially dangerous precedent. We already have a lack of work – what happens when the great robot apocalypse occurs? Things aren’t going to be pretty. With robots taking our jobs, who will afford these products? One potential solution is to shift away from a monetary economy and more towards a self-sustainable resource economy like the proposed “Venus Project.”
Even fast food chains and restaurants in the past few years like McDonald’s have decided to experiment to see if they can replace workers with robots. While McDonald’s or any business isn’t going to replace workers overnight, the transition will happen quicker than a lot of people think.
I’ll leave you with a robot that wants to destroy all humans. Laugh it up now, but there’s a reason Tesla founder Elon Musk said artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. All those robot apocalypse movies are quickly catching up to humanity and look like our foreseeable future.