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[ontolog-forum] Watson, Medicine, and New Knowledge

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From: Adrian Walker <adriandwalker@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:42:05 -0500
Message-id: <AANLkTimc3NXE8fCEdM022phsF+VYw92QaCrPV1+_zy9g@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hello All,

Here's a thought I have not seen discussed so far in the various excellent threads about Watson.

Watson is of course a major achievement, as it demonstrated by comfortably winning Jeopardy.

It's now official that IBM sees Watson has having potential in Medicine -- it could read the biological-medical literature and outperform the Doctors.

However, for these purposes, there's a key difference between Jeopardy and Medicine.

In Jeopardy, humans know the right answers -- the city of Toronto is not in the USA.

In Medicine, humans don't have consensus answers to new questions (e.g. What is the best treatment for multiple sclerosis).  So, whatever algorithms Watson uses will lead to new medical knowledge that humans cannot easily check by thought experiments.

Perhaps evidence-based medicine over structured data may help to to check Watson's new medical knowledge?

Of course, if Watson could produce English explanations of its answers, that could help too.

Just a Friday afternoon thought.

                                                        -- Adrian
Internet Business Logic
A Wiki and SOA Endpoint for Executable Open Vocabulary English Q/A over SQL and RDF
Online at www.reengineeringllc.com   
Shared use is free, and there are no advertisements

Adrian Walker

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