Imagine it is 1994. You have heard of a thing called the Internet. Not really sure what it does, but apparently it is going to be really cool and will get really big with time.
I choose that year, because that is when I first connected to the internet ( using Compuserve and a VERY slow dial-up modem).
Most likely, your cellphone looked somewhat like this:
In any case, since you are reading this post, you know now, that things have gone far beyond anything we could have imagined back then in 1994.
We could really say that things have grown Exponentially.
I can’t really write much about it, because I’m on call and somewhat busy, but please, make sure you check the link.
I will just say that there’s nothing like it out there. It is not the traditional medical conference. It is not the traditional technology event. It is not the traditional “gadget” fair, It is not even the traditional event about “Futurism”.
IT is ALL of the ABOVE.
It is an intense gathering, where the Best and the Brightest (myself excluded), in the field of Medical Innovation, Technology, Futurism and (also) Gadgets, converge, in order to give a deep glimpse at the imminent, incoming, exponential realities that will shape the Future of Health-care and hence, Humanity.
Robotics, Genomics, Nanotechnology, Brain-Computer interfaces/Neuroscience, TeleMedicine, Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3DBio-printing, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning and much, much more…it is all common chat for the duration of this Life-changing experience.
The interesting part is that the audience is as, or more, amazing than the actual speakers; the chance to connect to like-minded people, also intensely itching about innovation, and searching for answers (and questions), just as we are, makes this conference one of a kind and a must for anyone who really plans or wants to have any active role in the future of medicine.
The idea that resonated the most for me, the one that keeps making me lose sleep and reverberates inside my brain, is the amazing concept of DEEP LEARNING.
Back to my point:
So, just as the Internet in 1994, became what it is now, in 2015, I strongly believe that Deep Learning will be in A Very Short Time! Remember, we are talking about Exponential (Not Linear) in here.
In a short description, Deep Learning is the computer’s “cap-ability” to learn, using derivatives.
Forget about coding or programming; just show the computer the end result you want, and the machine will “learn”, by trial and error, at super-computer processing speeds, to get the results you want. It is already here, as in Skype Translator, for example. You at one end, speaking english; and someone at the other end listening to your content, in their own language, all done by the processing capability of the computer algorithm.
Jeremy Howard, from Enlitic, was probably the speaker whose ideas I liked the most; maybe because I’m a physician and think that what he’s describing will very rapidly change the way we practice Medicine, the way do Healthcare, the way we live.
Start by watching his fantastic 2014 TED talk: The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn
This time, he spent about 24 minutes, brilliantly and simply explaining the concept of Deep Learning (DL).
I’m confident that very soon, within 2-3 years, the medical profession will be greatly impacted by it. Specialties like general Radiology or Pathology will simply and mostly disappear. Deep Learning Computers will very soon be able to do these jobs faster and more accurately than any human could.
These medical professions will be the first, but not the only ones, to eventually be a thing of the past.
After listening to him at Exponential Medicine, I’m absolutely convinced, that DL will be much bigger than the Internet, exponentially bigger.
DL will change the way we think about computers and computing, about programs and programming, about questions and answers, about jobs, about the future of Medical Education, about Healthcare and medical specialties, perhaps even about Life itself.
Eventually, some or much of the medical care will be initially provided by machines, and/or by virtual Avatars, with DL processing power, helping us, the human providers (doctors, nurses, PA’s, etc); allowing us to perfect and concentrate in more innate human tasks, qualities and healing abilities that require empathy, touch, kindness and compassion.
These are characteristics that inanimate entities, at least for a long time, will not be able to master.