IBM's Watson computer that easily beat all the contestants of Jeopardy! is
being applied to healthcare, where it promises to help the common physician task
of diagnosing health conditions.The good news is the price and
accuracy of diagnosing medical conditions will likely improve, markedly. The
bad news is we'll need considerably fewer physicians, which will become an
issue for - among others - the children of current physicians who aspire to
follow in their parent's footsteps.If Watson could smoke all
the brainiacs on Jeopardy!, there's no reason to think it couldn't
displace a lot of lawyers, as well.Getting a machine to replace the
old mule in plowing a field is one thing - watching machines render our most
highly revered professions as routine tasks for a computer will be a different
experience, for society.
I was disappointed to see the Deseret News using Al Jazeera as the news resource
for this story - or any story for that matter. Yes, good information
can come from less-than-ideal sources too. But aren't there many other more
ideal news sources for such a topic? Or do we really lower ourselves to the Al
Jazeera, just for the sake of doing a story?
Machinery has been lightening our workload for generations. It was not that
long ago that the normal work week was 60 to 70 hrs. With one week unpaid
vacation a year. Now few work 40 hrs a week and enjoy multiple weeks of paid
vacation time, and enjoy a much higher standard of living. Thank you robots.