AI all set to transform healthcare in a big way, says expert
April 01 2019 09:48 PM
Dr Antonio Torralba
“Healthcare is an area where machine learning will have a huge impact," says Dr Antonio Torralba

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact several sectors in a big way in the next ten years, especially healthcare, with several jobs to be affected and many other interesting jobs to emerge, an expert told Gulf Times.
“Healthcare is an area where machine learning will have a huge impact," explained Dr Antonio Torralba, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a principal investigator at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. 
"The machines will start providing additional diagnostic tools to the doctors in several areas. It will happen very soon, maybe within a decade,” noted the academic who was in Qatar recently to deliver a keynote address at an event organised by Qatar Computing Research Institute, part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
“Machines will initially start assisting humans and eventually they will give suggestions to humans in several areas such as diagnosis, prescription among others. In some areas, the machines will have better accuracy, such as looking at radiography. The technology is almost there and it will be applied in a year or two. It might take about some years for the technology to become acceptable globally,” said Dr Torralba.
“We might lose many of the present jobs and at the same time, many other unknown and interesting jobs are on the horizon. We are poised for a very exciting and fascinating as well as transformative period,” he highlighted. 
“Computer Vision is my area of research. I am trying to look into machines that can recognise objects and sense like humans,” said the expert.
“I am focusing on the multimodel perception as humans sense the world through different perceptions such as touch, vision, among others. My goal is to build a machine that can integrate all the senses just like the humans. We are now working on systems that can analyse data which has no annotations,” described Dr Torralba.
“In machine learning, we need to have large amount of data to train the machine. What we are trying to do is to have systems that can learn without requiring data. As in the case of humans who can learn things without data, we are trying to build systems that can learn without data,” he pointed out.
Dr Torralba, however, stated that at this stage, the research is not very close to what humans do. “Now, we are trying to create systems that can generate images. What we are trying is to create some of the capabilities of humans. I try to build models on how human perception works. Generally I do it from an engineering perspective,” he noted.
According to the expert, autonomous driving is an area where there will be a big impact. “A car will act like a robot and conduct all the activities autonomously. Policy makers will have to play a big role in the eventuality of machines doing many of the present jobs,” he stated.
The researcher said that the term 'Artificial Intelligence' is a misnomer. “It provides the concept that machines are intelligent but the machines, by themselves, are not intelligent. Instead of AI, we can call it algorithm for complex problem solving,” added Dr Torralba.



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