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The further creep and rise of AI, this time it's Doctors!

  • 08-04-2023 1:22pm
    Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭

    The world and it's mother are aware of ChatGPT and other natural language iterative AI's.

    A ChatGPT based AI recently passed the American medical board licensing exams.

    Now let's be clear, the exam itself is basically one that leaving cert students here would love. It's regurgitation of learned info, with little in the way of adducing or diagnosing.

    The real kick here, is that subsequent to the licensing test that the AI then diagnosed a hard to identify condition.

    That it can adduce and decide which diagnosis is more likely. That it's algorithm interprets and assesses symptoms and test results in a manner very similar to highly trained consultant. That is incredible, it moves AI in medicine beyond its incipient use as a screening tool for diagnostic imaging and into the realm of a fully diagnostic tool and sanity check for doctors.

    I am not a programmer but I do have experience in integrating AI into legal and compliance tools. A company I worked previously used IBM Watson tied into Salesforce to screen insurance claims and provided a high degree of automation that was also very accurate. The tool itself wasn't adopted in EU but did go into production use in Japan and US.

    I've a history here of banging on about how the rise of AI will hit those jobs previously safe from industrial revolution. The white collar professional and the cerebral thinking and even creative roles.

    It's not going to happen next week or even next year, but we are getting closer and closer to cutting the human out of the loop in more industries than ever before.

    After I read the story above, I decided I was going to test out the run of the mill AI. I have a long term medical issue that has contributed to my early retirement. I've never had a definitive diagnosis, rather an either or, and in both cases symptomatic treatment is how it's dealt with.

    I entered my medical history and my symptoms into 2 AI tools. Both came back with a range of differential diagnosis and identified the most likely culprit in each case. Now I've chased diagnosis from doctors here and abroad over the cours of the last few years and it's only in the last year that the likely diagnosis has been agreed.

    Both AIs delivered an answer congruent to the Consultant diagnosis in 30 seconds.

    I would also add however that 1 of the AI's did include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease as a potential diagnosis, despite my being a man 🤷‍♀️

    Nobody, not even AIs are perfect I suppose 😉



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,314 ✭✭✭✭Supercell

    In work the other day were having a global online meeting and the topic of AI came up. Someone said he is from a programming background and was going to develop a tool using AI to automate some of our tasks. Que much admiration etc, don't think people realised that if something starts doing part of our job for us less and less of us will be needed. Slippery slope getting more slippy.

    Have a weather station?, why not join the Ireland Weather Network -

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    I've used ChatGPT to write some python scripts recently for some data I was fiddling with, and I know a couple of BI lads who used it to create a VBA macro for themselves to pull together a dashboard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,562 ✭✭✭ahnowbrowncow

    "I know a couple of BI lads"

    I don't know why you think their sexuality is relevant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭Anesthetize

    ChatGPT can be an incredibly useful tool for responding to forum posts. As a large language model, ChatGPT has been trained on vast amounts of data and can generate responses that are contextually relevant and grammatically correct. To use ChatGPT for forum responses, simply copy and paste the text of the post into the input box and click "submit." ChatGPT will then generate a response that you can modify and personalize as needed before posting it to the forum. Keep in mind that while ChatGPT can provide useful insights and suggestions, it is important to always use your own judgement and critical thinking skills when responding to forum posts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,762 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    You came up with that insightful post all by yourself, yeah?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭Anesthetize

  • Registered Users Posts: 490 ✭✭Antipathetic

    Yes ChatGPT is definitely a incredible useful tool especially for those who struggle with writing or who just can't be bothered to type certain things for example the other day I used the tool to type a resignation letter I ever managed to get a compliment on how well it was written.

    In just the past week there seems to have been numerous improvements in ChatGPT made by various researchers, and not forgetting the Sparks of AGI paper that was released where researchers where given access to the raw model and said in some areas GPT4 showed incredible abilities.

    I don't fear the rise of super intelligence quite the opposite, I fear human greed and stupidity far more especially when you look at our lack large scale meaningful action on climate change.

    Don't let the terrorists in Israel win. Please donate to UNRWA now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,184 ✭✭✭riclad

    Millions of jobs could disappear. Eg writers,artists, journalists,programmers , eg one example Ai can make models and background images for video games also human models in advertiser's can be replaced by ai images there,ll still be writers and editors but basic editing and summarys can be done by ai

    Tech gets better all the time the new iPhone is maybe 50 times more powerful than iPhone 1

    Advertising agencys can use Ai to create art as good as most artists and it can also copy the style of real artists

    Ai can sample an actor's voice it could replace most voice over artists

    We have seen tech laying off 1000s of workers the next wave could be ordinary middle class jobs like journalists and artists jobs that are at the core of the middle class

    It would be strange if people on forums started to use Ai to write posts that are smarter and more well educated the person who clicks on post comment

    We could be reading novels that are mostly written by ai like a celeb uses a ghostwriter to write a memoir

  • Registered Users Posts: 490 ✭✭Antipathetic

    I read recently that an Nvidia are forecasting in as little as eight years they will have hardware for training and running AI that is around 1 million times more powerful than what we currently have at that stage, all bets are off when it comes to how advanced the AI will be very well looking at a super intelligence.

    That's not to say that the current AI isn't very advanced now, in some areas it's already better than humans.

    However, I'll be happy with the version which someone showed off recently that is capable of searching your local area for a restaurant in his case pizza asking you what type of pizza you want and then using an artificial voice phoning the said restaurant to order the food that you want.

    Don't let the terrorists in Israel win. Please donate to UNRWA now!

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    It's not as completely preposterous as the blockchain hype but there's a lot of breathless hysteria about AI these days.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 807 ✭✭✭Emblematic

    I think, however, only licensed physicians can diagnose illness. A computer can provide an opinion - and possibly a very accurate opinion - but a doctor must then accept that opinion and base a diagnosis on it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,654 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I've been hearing all this stuff about AI for the last 30 years: there was a peak in the early naughties, and we're seeing another one now.

    Given the amount of natural stupidity I've run into in the last 2 years helping with a more front line tech/legal/human-services role, I'm not too worried about job security.

  • Registered Users Posts: 345 ✭✭iniscealtra

    Read Yuval Noah Harari’s book a few years ago. The theory was GP’s would be first to go as really they are just a database than than easily be replaced by a computer and a nurse.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,682 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk

    I was prescribed antibiotics for something the other day by my GP, my partner reckons I should have been prescribed a different kind for the infection I have and ChatGPT agrees with her. I think it's a great tool though, currently doing exams for final year of a degree and it has helped me to no ends when studying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 478 ✭✭Run Forest Run

    The rise of AI cannot be stopped. But there needs to be some serious discussions about oversight and safety.

    In our excitement to create some sort of digital god, we better make sure we don't inadvertently turn ourselves into this generation's version of the neanderthals. If some super intelligent AI suddenly starts to see the human race as expendable and a bit of a hindrance to it's progress, then we're up sh*t creek...

    "Oh but look, it can write my college thesis for me! Screw mankind" 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    That "study partner" use is one I've found to be very handy. Not just in recitation learning but in some novel case law approaches.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    Yeah I read that a while back too. My own professional experience is more with iterative AI rather generative and even at that, rather than programming I was one of the human sanity checks.

    With medical AI, given that diagnosing patients is already pretty much down to algorithm and differential it is a field that AI has an advantage in. Not that it can necessarily do it any better than a human. Rather that in a situation where multiple symptoms are assessed to lead to a diagnosis, AI and even non-AI can do that comparison and choosing far faster than a human.

    What an AI can't do? Is deal with an awkward patient and make intuitive leaps(yet).

    I think the comparison of where AI and in particular generative AI are now, with any of the prior AI hypes such as 90's fuzzy logic or noughties heuristics is taking a far too simplistic view of what is now possible on a large scale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,090 ✭✭✭corkie

    @Run Forest Run The rise of AI cannot be stopped. But there needs to be some serious discussions about oversight and safety.

    Authorities worldwide are scrambling to figure out how to control the rapidly evolving technology to ensure that it improves people’s lives without threatening their rights or safety. Regulators are concerned about new ethical and societal risks posed by ChatGPT and other general purpose AI systems, which could transform daily life, from jobs and education to copyright and privacy.

    Mr. ChatGPT goes to Washington: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testifies before Congress on AI risks ~~ On Tuesday just gone.

    Tough Euro crackdown on AI use passes key vote ~~ Last Friday.

    Passed 84 to 7 (with 12 abstentions), the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act places a number of gradually stricter rules on AI providers based on the system's perceived level of risk. Under those regulations, AI systems the EU decides come with "an unacceptable level of risk to people's safety" would be banned outright.

    Even with EU & US trying to regulate it, what will happen with countries like Russia or China?

    With too much regulation, it could hinder the development of it, or have it behind closed doors, with no oversight?

    "He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!" - Khan quoting Moby Dick (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,266 ✭✭✭BrianD3

    Great news. In my experience, many GPs are ass covering, money hungry gatekeepers with very poor problem solving and diagnostic skills. Specialists are better but there are plenty of bad ones. Surgeons are, obviously, a different kettle of fish and should be safe from AI and robots for a good while yet.

    Non surgical doctors will fight tooth and nail to protect their livelihoods, expect to hear plenty of (outdated) sneers about "Dr Google".

    Even now, a person who is reasonably intelligent and/or scientifically trained can diagnose as well or better than many doctors using Dr Google.

    We could have a situation where only a small number of top performing doctors are needed to carry out research to guide the AI and let the AI handle the everyday stuff, assisted by technicians, scientists, nurses, physician associates etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    Indeed, this has been my experience and that of my late then 82 year old mother who had to tell her doctor what was wrong with her.

    ”You’re anaemic”

    “Ok doctor, what might be the cause, what did the blood tests tell you?”


    “Eh, your red blood cells are large, everything else is fine”

    Long pause

    “So doctor, you are telling me I need Vitamin B12 supplementation

    Longer pause

    “Eh, indeed so”

    “So doctor, are you going to prescribe injections for me?”

    Long long pause

    “Eh yes, indeed so, that would be a good idea”.

    “So are you going to give me a prescription?”


    Eh… the nurse will have to teach your daughter how to give the injection”

    “Doctor, she can do stuff, she will learn all that off the Internet tonight and get on with giving me the first injection, goes into the upper arm muscle, I believe”

    Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard

    “My goodness you know your stuff, here’s the prescription”

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    I wish I could see an AI neurologist this minute, one that could prescribe a disease modifying drug before I end up confined to a wheelchair in jig time. If doctors don’t want to train to be neurologists, leave it to AI, which could take medical history, blood & CSF lab results, EMG nerve conduction studies & evoked response potentials, interpret MRI scans in time and space, come up with a treatment or management plan.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,208 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    i haven’t done much computer programming, only as a hobby, but I remember writing my first ever program in BASIC when I got delivery of my first PC circa 1995, it was to diagnose diagnose whether or not a patient had appendicitis by looping through questions.

    Can I get away with anything if I pay the piper, so to speak?

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    1986 review of "Expert Systems" from 1950's to early 1980's

    "In the early 1970s, how-ever, several research groups argued that expert physicians make high-quality decisions without formal numerical analysis and that there must be symbolic or conceptual methods suitable for modeling expert decision making when problems are ill-structured or when formal statistical data are scarce or difficult to acquire.

    Nowadays it's "Large Language Models" , the emphasis on "Large" because memory is cheaper and faster processing means you can do statistics quicker.

    To make it cheaper you scrape the internet, when you have an infinite number of monkeys at keyboards it's garbage in, garbage out.

    "AI" is good at "thinking inside the box" where every question has been answered before and it's just statistics to find the most likely previous answer.

    "Thinking outside the box" - forget it , how do Tesla's cope with sulky racing or St Patrick's day parades, or diversion signs with multiple options, or stuff that's actually rare.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    Great summary and the "inside the box" thinking is precisely why I think white collar rather than creatives are going to be the ultimate victim of the large language model.

    Diagnosis and differential diagnosis are heuristic algorithms in approach, with in Human's at least, the best answer/likeliest diagnosis being one that the Dr has encountered either in training or practice before. Dr's diagnosis skew towards what they "know" and what they are experienced in.

    Where the Large Language model network has an advantage over doctors in that? Is IMO that they are parsing symptoms against the whole of the available internet and going with highest statistical likelihood without relying on a personal experiential bias.

    My main AI experience has been in implementing a non GPT model into Salesforce as a legal/insurance assistant. It was following on from similar work IBM undertook with a Japanese insurance company. That experience wasn't as a programmer, I was the sanity check, the person who's work the AI was compared with and who checked the AI answers. I found even the Watson model to be v.good at assessing costs, assessing impact and even suggesting outcomes. What it was less good at? Was equating emotional and psychological impacts and assigning a quantum to those. That said? It was 85-90% right and even in those instances it was wrong? It was never egregiously so.

    Now I'm retired/out of that loop 5yrs at this point, so I can only imagine that with improved AI and the rise of GPT? That the integration and error rate has improved even more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,395 ✭✭✭CalamariFritti

    And what would be the point of that?

    I always thought fora and bbs were places where people meet other people to interact online. So you wanna turn it into a place where people can watch one language model talk to another language model? Cos interacting online as opposed to interacting personally is still too personal to you or something?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭Anesthetize

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,395 ✭✭✭CalamariFritti

    I fail to see any irony in your original post and struggling to make sense from your reply to me, too. Thats ok, it's probably me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    If I had to guess at what the irony was? I'd lean towards the ironic post being written by GPT🤔

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭Anesthetize

    That post was BS generated by ChatGPT. I think the prompt was along the lines of "how can ChatGPT be used for posting on forums".

    It was a tongue-in-cheek post made to point out that AI-generated forum post responses can become a thing, and people may not notice the difference. Not that I'm in favour of that or anything.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,421 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    Chat GPT scores 77% on the Leaving cert higher English paper.

    Not to blow my young lads trumpet, but he got 98.5% that said? I'd prefer GPT in charge than himself 🤨