Once considered a fictional element of on-screen thrillers, artificial intelligence is reversing course and assimilating into everyday culture. And one of the most pervasive and beneficial areas the new technology is penetrating comes in the realm of healthcare.
"Now, with new machine learning models and computing grid models, diagnostics have improved - one field that has really accelerated has been computer vision, there's been greater specificity in detecting tumors in radiographs," said Tom Eck, CTO of Industry Platforms at IBM (IBM) - Get Report .
Although the timeline regarding the mass integration of AI is murky, one element remains clear: AI's role in healthcare focuses on convenience and speed.
"[Doctors] can do an API call and loom through data repositories for a patient," added IBM's Developer Advocate Bruce Weed. "The results will come out as recommendations, rank these recommendations, and it is then the doctor's decision to see what to give the patient."
And with the resurgence of computational techniques within the medical industry, AI has a variety of avenues in its assimilation.
According to Weed, AI is steadily integrating itself into cancer research and medical data within dermatology. Last week, IBM presented new data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology showing the advantages of Watson's cognitive computing system and impressive concordance rates. The data illustrated how Watson could help assist in treatment of cancer in the near future.
Problems still persist with AI, such as intellectual ownership of personal data and potential cybersecurity risks - but, that's not the most salient problem floating around in people's minds. According to Dave Sorin venture capital firm McCarter and English LLP, disenfranchisement and the gradual replacement of humans with machines assert preliminary concern. However, the panelists focus narrowed on the union of man and technology, emphasizing that the discussion isn't about people versus machines, but rather people with machines.
"Artificial intelligence eases certain tensions in healthcare because it's all about accessibility, especially for seniors," said Erum Azeez Khan, Executive Director of Memory Lane. "This technology is not just convenient, but meaningful and engaging for the elderly.
Disruptive Technologies is an organization based in New York dedicated to exploring ventures in cutting-edge technology. The group is composed of technies, investors, hackers, students and investors exploring the technological frontier. Up next on their exploration? Delving deeper into why bots always seem to have female voices.
While the use of artificial intelligence has been sweeping healthcare, the technology is, of course, being used in a plethora of applications, one of the largest use-cases being chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people based on pre-programmed algorithms. Think Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report Alexa, Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report Siri and Microsoft's Cortana.
Chatbots improve navigation, enhance organization processes, and complement the user experience which is why big banks and startups alike are jumping on the bandwagon while they still can.
"Bots are an ever growing technology, especially since you can use them in so many mediums," said Microsoft Evangelist Heather Shapiro. "It helps companies connect with specific audiences."
With an amalgam of information, chatbots can sift through data and assume base-level planning. According to Sorin, the Co-Chair of McCarter, chatbots amongst other forms of artificial intelligence and augmented reality are "disrupting business paradigms."
"In terms of investors interested in this emergence of bot machine learning, we're doing more transactions than ever before," said Sorin. "We're talking about how this technology is integrated into non-tech companies."