Bits | Daily Report: A Peek at the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Human Relationships

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Two possible glimpses into the future arrived on Thursday, if you were looking for them.

IBM, looking to figure out how to change with the times, announced the latest trick for its Watson artificial-intelligence technology. With the single swoop of a $1 billion purchase of Merge Healthcare, Watson would be digesting medical images to help doctors make diagnoses.

As Steve Lohr reports, images like CAT scans, X-rays and mammograms, IBM researchers estimate, represent about 90 percent of all medical data today. If Watson can help read a patient’s image, and that patient’s digital medical record, the thinking goes, the technology can lead to better understanding of that patient’s condition. That would surely be no small feat.

In entirely separate — but also potentially future-casting — news, the Pew Research Center released a study about the friendships teenagers have online. The group found that 57 percent of American teenagers age 13 to 17 say they have made a friend online. As Dino Grandoni writes, the vast majority, 77 percent, of these relationships don’t culminate in an actual meeting, the Pew researchers said.

That may not come as a surprise to many, but it is a reminder that the web is transforming how we interact with one another. And younger generations are making the jump into the new communications channels first, and with the most enthusiasm.

This may not be the world of “Her,” and computers aren’t now doing the work of doctors. The trend lines, though, sure look pretty clear.

Source: Bits | Daily Report: A Peek at the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Human Relationships

Via: Google Alerts for AI