How artificial intelligence will revolutionize medicine

Properly used and supervised, algorithms could, for example, nip any new pandemic in the bud. Among other decisive advances for humanity.

A computer brain has 100 million neurons. A thousand times less than humans… © Adobe Stock

Artificial intelligence is our best hope today. This is what Badr Boussabat, the president of AI Together, an NGO which brings together the greatest experts in the world on the subject, defends. Used well, it could bring extraordinary progress to humanity for the economic system, the fight against global warming or even social relations. It is already on the way. The algorithm developed by the company Blue Dot had predicted the appearance of the coronavirus before the authorities, including the WHO, by browsing, in more than sixty languages, public documents or testimonies on social networks.

According to Badr Boussabat, if an organization is put in place to process health data, the next pandemics could be stopped in a few weeks. In addition, the algorithms reduce margins of error, costs and enable predictions. “At the start of the pandemic, we were unable to distinguish the symptoms due to the pandemic, which an artificial intelligence could manage to do in order to reduce the reproduction of the virus. Another advantage: federated learning. Each hospital may have a local algorithm that will predict whether or not a patient will need respiratory assistance. We can then feed a federated super-algorithm which will give the assistance probability rate. But it is obviously a plan that the authorities must put in place to raise public awareness of algorithms. But technically, it is possible to eradicate pandemics, even if it requires a lot of organization and training of hospital staff..”

The intelligence of a rat

However, artificial intelligence, often fictionalized in its most disturbing aspects, is still frightening. For Badr Boussabat, it is up to politicians to protect and train individuals. “We already give our data to private companies for fun via social networks. Why wouldn’t we give our health data to achieve a use supervised by governments? The State would guarantee this by protecting against malicious use.

However, the most “intelligent” computer systems in the world have less common sense than a rat. Neurosciences have made it possible to estimate that the human brain is endowed with around 86 billion neurons, nearly all present from birth, and a million billion connections, a good part of which are established and selected during course of the development of intelligence in children. In computer science and artificial intelligence, what is now called neuromorphism is much more limited: for example, the digital brain of the American company Intel, reputed to be one of the most powerful in the world, has only 100 million of neurons, the brain of a small mammal, between a hamster and a rat. Thus, to this day, the human brain remains, by far, the best seat of intelligence on earth.

Looking for cyber-managers

We have a tendency towards anthropomorphism. However, nothing demonstrates that there is competition between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. It is a mistake to compare yourself to an automation. Human intelligence is much more transversal and includes common sense. In reality, the more artificial intelligence will develop, the more the exclusive attributes of the human being will take on value.“Algorithms will never take over. Repetitive and automatic trades, of course, will disappear, but it will be to allow human beings to make better decisions. Especially since artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it will destroy, says Badr Boussabat. For example, artificial intelligence will be able to optimize fossil fuels and to achieve this, we will need brains that will create strategies, who will supervise, who will provide a legal framework. We will actually need more managers to confirm the data and the decisions indicated by the artificial intelligence.

In twenty years, the paradigms will have changed. Predictive medicine will make it possible to treat even before the appearance of the disease and will bring down the costs of health care, adds Badr Boussabat. Artificial intelligence, for example, will revolutionize neurology. Artificial intelligence will predict seizures by sensing electrical activity in the brain. The patient can be helped to understand the causes of his seizures.“Because its applications now affect all citizens, artificial intelligence has become a real social object. Our daily activities are already increasingly “mediated” by algorithms, whether it’s searching for information on a search engine, communicating on social networks or booking a show online.

AI is improving our present in all areas, from the environment to the arts, from health to cooking, in unprecedented ways. And it will continue to profoundly change our society. As long as public policies, all over the world, seize them to better mark them out.

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How artificial intelligence will revolutionize medicine


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