Taipei, Monday, May 27, 2019, 13:31

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NTU College of Medicine Shares Viewpoint Regarding IBM Watson Bottleneck

By Korbin Lan
Published: May 07,2019

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Regarding IBM Watson’s uneven development in the domain of medical treatment, National Taiwan University College of Medicine Secretary in Medical Affairs Professor Feipei Lai pointed out that currently Watson can only assist second or third class medical personnel at most and is unable to satisfactorily aid top level physicians.

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IBM Watson’s artificial intelligence system is a world-renowned AI computing and decision making platform. In recent years it has been utilized in collaborations with numerous hospitals around the world to develop medical assistance diagnosis services, especially for the treatment of cancer. Nevertheless, recently encountering repeated layoffs and the suspension of some services has left doubts about the development of AI for medical treatment.

Regarding this state of affairs, Professor Feipei Lai at the “Medical x Technology Innovative Smart Medical Seminar” on May 3 shared his personal experiences at NTU. He explained that IBM had been in contact with NTU Hospital; however, they were very insistent on their business model for fees and were unwilling to provide trial runs. As a result, NTU did not end up using the platform.

In addition, Professor Feipei Lai also expressed his belief that IBM’s Watson is only capable of assisting second class and third class physicians, and is of little assistance to first class physicians. Furthermore, NTU can already handle the tasks which IBM are capable of handling.

Speaking at the same event, Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry (IBMI) Chairman Dr. San-Cheng (Simon) Chang echoed this sentiment, stating his belief that for smart medical treatment, data is king, and therefore data collection should be its main objective and there should not be any fees for using the platform. Moreover, he also explained that there are extremely abundant medical treatment data bases in Taiwan, and efforts should be made to gradually open them up for usage. This is especially the case in lieu of the current controversy over financing, and they should therefore be developed for the sake of Taiwan’s smart medical care industry.

(TR/ Phil Sweeney)

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