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Employing a Super Computer

September 13, 2011

You may have fond memories of Watson, IBM’s super computer that can spit out correct responses to Jeopardy! clues almost at will. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Watson could be used for something useful such as answering medical-related questions?

Well, it turns out WellPoint, Inc. will be putting Watson to work by employing it to “swiftly compare patients’ electronic records to a mammoth library of textbooks and medical journals” in order to “generate a list of options and the rationale behind them.”

How fantastic is that news? Watson has managed to find a job so easily when many people in the US are unemployed and mired in so much poverty.

The best part is Watson can now be used to assist doctors. In fact, if Watson becomes so good at diagnosing the patients, it’s even better for WellPoint because it can cut out the middleman–the doctors–and have Watson do all the silly diagnostic work.

Wait a minute, WellPoint would never do such a thing. Its best interests is in helping its patients by providing them with top notch care, right? Of course. How could I be so cynical about a health insurer wanting to put profits ahead of its patients?

Also, imagine all the money Watson will save WellPoint because it won’t have to send its patients to doctors or worry about paying  those health care professionals to whom it has to send its insurees. Efficiency has never been better. Not only will WellPoint own the labor, they’ll save so much money by not hiring any new workers and possibly putting many more out of jobs.

Nah, that won’t happen. It’s not as if WellPoint is like Bank of America. . . or is it?

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