MIT Associate Professor: Why hospitals love robots more than factories

According to MIT Technology Review, robotic colleagues and AI helpers are approaching us, but Julie Shah is not worried about replacing robots with robots, but welcomes them enthusiastically.

Shah is an associate professor at MIT who is committed to making humans and machines a safe and efficient partner. The job took her to the factory floor and the busy hospital where she tried to figure out how automation can make humans more efficient. Shah recently interviewed about the scene we started working with robots:

Q: What do you think is the most common misconception about robots in the workplace?

Shah: People generally think that AI is a very common and powerful ability that can be used in all these different kinds of work. But today’s AI can not be used in such a way.

Currently, every AI system needs to be designed to perform a very specific task, which requires a lot of engineering work. Although the scope of their mandates is expanding, we do not yet have “universal artificial intelligence” and it will replace a great deal of human work. As AI’s capabilities continue to grow, it can accomplish many small tasks in different areas.

Q: In factories and hospitals such places, to achieve the potential of robots how much?

Shah: When you talk about robots getting into more service environments, such as hospitals and office buildings, you find that they have fewer structured environments. Robots need to understand the environment, including personal preferences, when the busiest. It is cumbersome to code all of this.

We are always devoted to developing technology to observe the way professionals work. We observe how nurses make decisions, such as which room the patient is assigned to. Through the observation of human professionals, robots can be trained in learning.

Q: Have you noticed that in different industries, which industries are more susceptible to automation?

Shah: The area of ​​health care does not resist robots. People in manufacturing often feel more skeptical about robotic substitution. Proving that robots will improve human capabilities rather than replace humans may pose daunting challenges.

In the hospital, we studied nurses who served as management roles. They controlled most of the work scheduled in the operating room, such as which wards the patients were assigned and which nurses were assigned to take care of.

Compared with air traffic controllers, the work of these people is much more difficult from a mathematical point of view, but they do not have the same decision-making tools to help them. Nurses have a unique sense of value in their work. They know their work is hard and they feel there is room for improvement, even though they are already very familiar with the work.

Q: Do you think the dialogue between AI and work needs to change?

Shah: I think there’s one thing sometimes lacking in discussion, that is, AI is not a technology beyond our control. We are the designers of AI and how we structure their ability to work with AI.


The Israeli company wants to implant chips in the human brain to help cure the disease

The thought of implanting the chip in the human brain is enough to hesitate to entertain the most fanatical science fiction fans.

According to Futurism, the mind control interface is still a completely new technology in its early stages of development and we are not yet fully prepared to fully integrate the human brain with the computer. But in the meantime, a company hopes to help patients with stroke and spinal cord injury by non-surgical implantation of electroencephalography (EEG) machines.

The revolutionary technology being developed by Neuralink and other brain-computer interface (BCI) companies pioneered by the American serial entrepreneur Elon Musk will likely help improve human intelligence, memory and communication in the future. Although the technology is promising in practice, in fact, the idea of ​​implanting the chip in the human brain is enough to hesitate to enrage the most fanatical science fiction fan.

Headquartered in Israel, brain technology startup BrainQ, is taking a less invasive approach that combines the human brain with technology. Instead of implants, BrainQ uses a non-surgical EEG machine that records the brain’s electronic activity. EEG has been used by other paralyzed patients and BrainQ hopes their technology will achieve similar goals and improve the lives of stroke and spinal cord injury patients.

However, the neuroscience company also faces considerable obstacles that need to be cleared before their technology is used in the medical field. First, the technology needs to successfully complete human clinical trials. It then needs FDA approval to be commercially available in the United States. Ultimately, the most difficult challenge for BrainQ will be to keep competing with other companies trying to create something similar to EEG-based technology.

While companies like NeuroLutions and NeuroPace will technically be BrainQ competitors, the latter seems to be a leader in the applications of patients with stroke and spinal cord injury. The company hopes the technology will be available in the U.S. market by 2020. After that, they will continue their efforts to separate BrainQ from other companies by developing a broader disease application.

Assaf Lifshitz, a BrainQ spokesman, said the company hopes to use the technology in the future to collect data, improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients and help treat several childhood illnesses.

The timeline set by BrainQ may be reasonable as it relies on less invasive techniques (relative to brain implants) that may be much easier to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration than other BCI techniques . With the introduction of this technology, BrainQ hopes it will be able to gather more extensive and extensive data on the electronic activities of the human brain. In the future, these data may help to provide a more accurate assessment of the patient’s condition and thus help them achieve more effective treatment.