Monday, May 18, 2015

HEALTH - Computers and Cancer

"Why we’re teaching computers to help treat cancer" PBS NewsHour 5/12/2015


SUMMARY:  Every day, we depend on artificial intelligence to help us make sense of a steady deluge of information.  AI helps the post office to sort its mail, Wall Street to make financial decisions and physicians to diagnose patients.  Hari Sreenivasan reports on how tech firms are investing in the next generation of intelligent computer programs and in what ways the technology still lags behind humans.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Now we continue our series about artificial intelligence, A.I., where computers are able to make intelligent decisions without human input.

As computing power gets stronger and people continue to generate massive amounts of data, A.I. is making its way into the marketplace and into your doctor’s examination room.

Hari Sreenivasan has the latest in series on breakthroughs in invention and innovation.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Advances in artificial intelligence continue to push the boundaries between science fiction and reality, like this brain-controlled device at the University of Minnesota.  It enables users to fly a model helicopter with only their thoughts.  The hope is it will soon help disabled people to operate robotic arms.

But you don’t need to be in a university lab to find A.I. It’s all around us.

MAN (voice on iPhone):  What’s the fifth planet from the sun?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Helping us search for information.

WOMAN (voice on iPhone):  Jupiter is the fifth planet orbiting the sun.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Our smartphones use A.I. to navigate us, choosing the least congested traffic routes.  Even the U.S. Postal Service uses it to sort mail.  And on Wall Street, autonomous machines help make major financial decisions.

RAY KURZWEIL, Inventor/Futurist:  At least 90 percent of the financial transactions are guided in one way or another by artificial intelligence.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Ray Kurzweil directs Google’s engineering lab, but spoke to us in his capacity as an independent inventor.  He’s convinced that A.I. programs are already on track to solve many of the problems vexing mankind today.

RAY KURZWEIL:  They’re helping us find a cure for disease, helping us diagnose disease, analyzing environmental data to help us clean up the environment.  Virtually every industrial process is a combination already of human and machine intelligence.

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