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Artificial intelligence systems can predict patients’ diagnoses and outcomes with startling accuracy, and we don’t even know how they’re doing it. But we’re going to end up relying on them anyway, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review.

The details: A team of academic researchers recently fed Google’s machine-learning system anonymous data on hundreds of thousands of patients, and the AI was able to make accurate diagnoses and predictions.

  • The machines predicted a patient’s odds of dying with 90% accuracy, within 24 hours of their hospital admission.
  • “These predictions, however, were based on patterns in the data that the researchers could not fully explain,” the article says.

Think about the implications here. How would you feel if you walked into the hospital and your doctor told you, “The computer says you’re going to die. We don’t know how it knows that, but it’s almost always right.”

Key quote: “In some cases, doctors may have a legal obligation to use models that are more accurate than [human] expertise … This won’t take doctors out of the loop entirely, but it will create new opportunities and new dangers as the technology evolves and becomes more powerful.”

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China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,543,662 — Total deaths: 700,714 — Total recoveries — 11,143,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
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At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.