Your Future Doctor’s Visit

It seems we’re all preparing for a future doctor’s visit where we deal more with screens than people. And that might soon be the case in a hectic ER, but if we’re just visiting our general physician, I predict we’ll still be greeted by nurses for the foreseeable future.

I see AI’s march into the medical world starting in one area: Specialists.

Alphabet’s DeepMind just announced its intention to make a product that will be able to scan human eyeballs for disease just as well as any specialist. I can’t imagine skin disorders being too far off after that.

Mole checks, foot fungus, freaky toenails, everything that can receive a “Yep, that’s [blank]” from a doctor will more frequently be handled by your general practitioner. You’ll get fewer recommendations to head to a separate doctor’s office. This might sound like chimes of liberation to those with an HMO!

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Meat Bag Confronts Screen, More at 11

“Don’t sit so close! You’ll ruin your eyes!”

My worrisome mother often shouted from across the room, frustrated by her child’s growing infatuation with the images pouring out of our living-room tube TV.

Television was reviled on one side of our family. My grandparents only let me watch baseball and McGee & Me, a Christian home video series. Viewed as the source of all our misgivings, TV subverts a good Christian life. A sinful teacher. A device with unchecked access to my newly forming neural connections.

But I will forever defend the television, for its many faults, it still welcomes groups to sit together and focus attention. If not on each other, then at least on an agreed point. A movie, show, or nothing in particular. We focused together.

That’s not as viable with our pocket screens.

Our smartphones are highly personal and personalized; downright magical, you might say. But looking over someone’s shoulder as they scroll through their feed is met with a bristling self-consciousness.

I think this is a problem.

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