Professor Stanford: Machines are hijacking our minds

 Professor Stanford: Machines are hijacking our minds

Master NO.050

Author | Michael Snyder

Head of the Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Head of the Center for Genetics and Personal Medicine, and an authoritative expert in functional genomics and proteomics. His laboratory is the first in the world to apply large-scale functional genomics to any organism.

Bertalan Mesk

Future medical scientist, medical geek, Dr. Maxke is the director of the Medical Futurist Institute and Doctor of Medicine and Science at Debrecen University. He studies how science and technology make the vision of medicine and health care a reality., the managing director and founder of, is the first platform to provide free services to patients and medical professionals in the field of medical and health-related media resources. His research results have been widely cited by, the World Health Organization, the New York Times, the British Medical Journal and many other media and institutions.

Hertara Mesco

Digital health is a cultural change of traditional medical technology

We need to define digital health, which means a qualitative change in the field of health care and changes the nature of health care. In the past few years, numerous disruptive technological innovations have flooded the medical field, but the essence of this change is not technological, but cultural.

In the 1990s, when personal computers were widely used, electronic health came into being. When such computers can be connected to the network, telemedicine services emerge. The rise of social media networks has provided space for medical 2.0 and health 2.0, while the popularity of mobile phones and later smartphones has awakened mobile health. But since the 2010s, the speed at which disruptive technologies have emerged has brought qualitative changes to both patients and caregivers.

We call this new phenomenon digital health and define it as a cultural transformation of how disruptive technologies provide digital and objective data to caregivers and patients, where the relationship between doctors and patients is reciprocal and allows for common decision-making and democratic care.

Only by recognizing the relevant cultural challenges and meeting the new needs of patients can the use of technology lead to better health outcomes. Thats why we need this definition as part of acknowledging the changes around us.

Digital health poses challenging issues

With the rise of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality/augmented reality, telemedicine, 3D printing, portable diagnostics, health sensors, wearable devices and so on, the overall structure of medical care and the role of patients and doctors will undergo fundamental changes.

The shift in traditional health care has led to serious ethical considerations that challenge policymakers in unprecedented ways. Who should have access to health data? Is it legal for an employer or insurance company to collect data from the genetic test results of its employees directly to consumers? How to prevent someone from invading medical equipment? How will we deal with medical robots? If it made a mistake in the operation, whose responsibility is it?

No matter how difficult it is, medical professionals and decision makers should be one step ahead of technology. They must play the role of guiding patients to use countless digital health technologies. Only when their own medical concepts are up-to-date and open, can the digital health model created by technology become a reality. On the one hand, they must ensure that patients do not resort to unproven services or technical solutions; on the other hand, they must involve patients as partners in the design of care and decision-making.

Because disruptive technologies have the potential to rob doctors of repetitive and monotonous tasks, they will be able to focus their attention on patients, and doctors will be better guides for digital health. In addition, medical professionals can return to the most basic health care.

Digital Humanistic Spirit and Medical Care

The significance of digital humanism lies not only in putting patients in health care centres, but also in putting patients in the centre of health technology in a more general way. Human beings should not take advantage of human weaknesses and control from them. All these data should not only serve the interests of large technology companies, but also lead to the damage of peoples interests. Instead, we should step up action to stop degrading human beings technically, creating or widening gaps in society, or ignoring diversity. Here are some ideas and principles on how digital humanism can be presented in health care.

(1) Technology and humanity: who has control?

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and others: For years, weve heard about how they reshape the world, but the harmful effects of the attention economy have not been taken seriously enough, although there are plenty of signs of how harmful they are to society.

The system is collapsing, as Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, said a few years ago. He stressed that while digitization brings unprecedented opportunities, it also brings unprecedented crises. For example, some areas of network monopoly, the rise of extremist ideas and behaviors planned by social media, filtering bubbles and the formation of echo chambers, in addition to the loss of privacy, as well as the spread of digital surveillance.

Online companies are developing an addictive technology and trying to attract usersattention at any cost, even taking advantage of human weaknesses and our worst psychological flaws. According to statistics, an average of 150 times a day, every time we receive a message, the brain releases a lot of dopamine, which is as addictive as the reward signal that a gambler receives. When they pull up the slot machine handle, do they like it? Do you tend to read news that suits your interests for a long time? They create your own filter bubbles, and you dont have to face conflicting opinions anymore. They put the craziest ideas in front of you.

In YouTube, which watches more than 1 billion hours a day, 70% of it comes from recommendations, not from usersactive search, but YouTube puts videos in front of users because their viewing can lead to longer interaction time on the site. Users will also diligently click on the next video, join the recommended Facebook group, or allow dozens of websites to send out notifications. Now, who can control our attention?

(2) Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Algorithms and Power

You might say that this is just a small gap in technological development. We have advanced robots, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the way social media is formed has no such impact. However, if you think of intelligent algorithms as the control mechanism of robots, or if VR/AR embodies an immersive or interactive intelligent software program, you will find that the ultimate technologies we have to worry about are intelligent algorithms and artificial intelligence.

One view is that this system in the artificial world, coupled with overwhelming artificial intelligence and mining incentives from the largest technology companies, is leading to the exploitation of human weaknesses and the degradation of human thinking. When were updating our technology, our machines, were hijacking our minds and creating zombies addicted to the screen.

A Systematic Problem Requiring System Response

This is also an overview of the Vienna Declaration on Digital Humanism, with particular emphasis on what should be the basis for future technological development. We studied these principles and thought about their significance in health care and how they fit in with medicine. The design of digital technology should promote democracy and inclusiveness. In terms of health care, this should refer to the technology available to anyone and solutions that transcend social, financial or educational barriers.

Protecting sensitive patient information should be considered a high priority, even more important than routine data. As with the emergence of large amounts of genetic and genomic data, unauthorized access to these health information not only means endangering patientscurrent situation, but also affects their future.

Six Challenges Faced by Artificial Intelligence Redesigning Medical Care

There are now many applications of artificial intelligence in the redesign of health care: it helps medical professionals design treatment plans and find the most appropriate treatment for each patient. It helps duplicate, monotonous work so that doctors and nurses can focus on the actual work at hand rather than on the wheel battle of simple illnesses and administrative matters. AI can update the email in the doctors inbox intelligently, so that the doctor can see what he wants to see at any time. Artificial intelligence can also help doctors find the latest and most relevant scientific research on a disease in seconds. Its revolutionary power can make it as important as stethoscope in the future and become the symbol of modern medicine.

Artificial intelligence is now well documented in several hospitals: Google DeepMind has already launched a partnership with the UK National Health Service to improve the delivery of medical services using digital solutions. Another example is IBMs Watson. However, we can not deny that we have been facing a problem, that is, how to transform the great potential of artificial intelligence into daily life. After we understand AI in health care, we should have a clearer understanding of the obstacles.

1) The technical limitations of AI.

2) Medical restrictions

In order to avoid exaggerating the technology, the limitations of AI in medicine must also be recognized. For example, in radiological image recognition, there may be potential deviations. The framework of image research often originated in the United States, or the conceptual framework of the algorithm itself contained the subjective assumptions of the working group. In addition, the predictive and predictive power of related algorithms is fixed in previous cases, that is to say, they may be useless in new cases of drug side effects or drug resistance.

On the other hand, it is easier to simplify and standardize medical records to make the algorithm meaningful, but it is also another major defect of introducing AI into hospital management. In many hospitals, doctors still write wild grass on patientsmedical records. If even the person who wrote the notes could not recognize what he had written in two weeks, how would the computer understand the notes?

3) Moral challenges

Artificial intelligence and AI medical and technological constraints are still easier to overcome than ethical and legal issues. If a clever algorithm makes a mistake and does not find cancerous nodules on lung X-rays, who should be responsible for the mistake? If we want to establish corresponding safety regulations, how should we formulate them? These complex ethical and legal questions should be answered if we want to enter a higher level of AI safely and reliably. In addition, from the first stage to the second stage of AI development, it should be implemented cautiously and step by step in order to provide time and space for planning potential risks and adverse factors. The process should be closely monitored by independent bioethics research groups and medical supervision agencies.

4) Better regulation

The FDA approved the first cloud-based in-depth learning algorithm for heart imaging. However, AI regulations are usually lagging behind or nonexistent. As technology advances, rules may not be introduced in the next five to 10 years. But the fact is that these rules should be in front of the technological wave and guide the implementation of AI in the field of health care in accordance with the principles and ethical standards they have developed with other industry stakeholders. In addition, they should push companies to put affordable AI solutions on the table and always focus on patients. Governments and policymakers should also help establish standards for the use of AI, starting with the smallest units (medical professionals) and the most complex units (medical systems at the national level).

5) Misunderstanding and exaggeration

Over-exaggerating the ability of AI, through marketing strategies and over-simplified media presentation, will not help to destroy the healthy image of how AI contributes to health care. It also adds to the confusion and misconceptions that need to be eliminated when we want to successfully apply this technology to our medical system. The definitions of machine learning, deep learning, intelligent algorithms or other terms and concepts related to AI need to be carefully handled. The same is true of its impact on health care.

6) Human exclusion

Artificial intelligence eradicates human fears and exaggerated statements about AI working for medical professionals exist at the same time. Even Stephen Hawking said that the development of comprehensive artificial intelligence may mean the end of human beings. Elon Musk agrees. It is said that artificial intelligence has replaced the work of radiologists. Robots are surpassing the skills of surgeons and doing many jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. The fear of AI is understandable, because few of us really understand how this technology works. When we dont understand, we tend to refuse. More importantly, if ideological leaders or the media also tend to exaggerate and extreme this issue. Although it takes time to get used to this technology, we recommend that everyone be open and familiar with the artificial intelligence used in everyday life.

In the case of Aviation Autopilot, this innovation did not replace real pilots, but increased their mission. In very long flights, its easy to turn on the autopilot, but theyre useless when you need quick judgment. Therefore, the combination of human and machine is the successful solution. The same is true of health care. If we do not have a clear understanding of human nature, we will be lost in the jungle of science and technology. Thats whats happening today, but we hope that by applying these principles as soon as possible and returning humans to the cockpit, we can mitigate the negative impact of technology and truly achieve the level of subversive innovation serving humankind.

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