AI, Algorithms and Data Mining

What If…

Our future health is influenced by a man-made Algorithm?

As we move closer to a full-blown dispensing of Artificial Intelligence into mainstream life decisions, should we be more aware of the gathering of our personal health data and who has access to it?  Some would say ‘oh, h..l Yes!’ where others might simple say ‘it’s not that big a deal’ and still a percentage would muse ‘you think everything is a conspiracy’.

Well, there are those in the medical field who feel the caution sign is getting ready to turn red for “STOP”!  Dr. Marilyn Singleton, a board-certified anesthesiologist, had some very revealing thoughts as a guest on Coast to Coast Monday, December 16, 2019.

  The gest of her thoughts can be best summed up as:

              “…how technology and algorithms would soon be making medical decisions instead of humans, to maximize profits at the expense of what’s best for the patient.”

Dr. Singleton’s chilling incident of a remote Dr. diagnosing a man with a fatal disease over the internet demonstrates how the empathy is being removed the closer we get to AI being used most of the time as the technology improves.

With one chilling incident already in mind, how many more can we expect to happen?  If you read the report on Google’s “Project Nightingale”, you may begin to see why it is important to be aware of who has access to your data.  An what if such a project gets your information wrong?  For example, if you are researching an illness for a family member or a friend and the algorithm cannot determine the difference between research for yourself and research for someone else, do your records somehow end up being distorted with an illness that you have not been diagnosed with?

This is not a new revelation, but it is one that appears to be getting more traction these days as algorithms are being written more and more with tunnel vision.  When an organization, such as AAPS (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons), includes an article referencing AI, one should be alert to the point they are trying to make.  Who is really in control of one’s health?  The individual, AI or a combination of bureaucrats and corporations who fund the writing of the algorithms that eventually do the decision making for all. 

There is a positive light at the end of the tunnel.  We as a species need to adjust our biology to venture where no one has ventured lately, that we know of: Space.  Space does hold the key to our survival and a new way of life, if we can adjust our biology.  AI and the algorithms that direct them are the key in conjunction with the individuals used in data mining to develop both.   Not just the economic benefits of the endeavor.   A plausible vision of our space future is best explained, in part, by a past Astronaut Buzz Aldrin.  In Aldrin’s article name “Americas Space Program”(, he states:

  • Investment in reusable rockets and spacecraft will take us back to the Moon and put humans on Mars.
  • Investment in space leads to global leadership, economic competitiveness and technological spin-offs.
  • Exploration can open the final frontier to citizen explorers and spark an industry of space tourism

Currently, the jury is still out.  But should we wait until the verdict is in?  Or, should we be more discerning with our private medical data as we go forward?  AI will not wait.  Neither will algorithm developers.  I would hope that we not wait until the last minute to decide.


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