In a LinkedIn discussion on medical robotics, I noted the following remark by a neurosurgeon: «A robot is an information system, and an information system is as good as the person who designs it and the person who uses it».

This is a myth.

Since a a couple of decades, artificial intelligence and robots build on characteristics that do not have much to do with those of humans, such as pattern recognition-based induction, hugely larger (than those of humans) knowledge bases, vastly superior precision, ultra-fast Bayesian networks navigation (the sole remote resemblance to humans, perhaps), and more.

Unlike structured and logically-based software, a robot resembles its programmer no more. Don’t think humanoid robot here: think robot surgeon. Or think chess-playing robots: their programmers ain’t Grand Masters and lose systematically in matches against their own software. See the point?

Today surgery is merely “robot assisted” (of which I predicted widespread use in a 2004 book), but watch out for for 50% of unemployed surgeons in 15 years or less.

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