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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Facing increasingly overworked doctors and labyrinthine insurance systems, hospitals are searching for a lifeline in AI systems that promise to ease hard diagnoses and treatment decisions, Kaveh reports.
But the data underpinning the very first systems is often spotty, volatile and completely lacking in critical context, leading to a poor early record in the field.
The big picture: Basic clinical decision support (CDS) systems have been around for decades, but a skepticism of technology leads many doctors to ignore or override them. Now, experts say a nascent generation of CDS — infused with AI in academic labs and startups — may reduce the estimated 40,000–80,000 deaths a year that result from medical errors.
The big problem: Record keeping is so bad that doctors laugh when you ask about it.
Other quirks of health data make more problems for CDS systems:
It's the oldest problem in data science: garbage in, garbage out.
What's next: The Food and Drug Administration, which currently doesn't review most CDS systems, is considering policy changes that could head off some data issues. Scientists are pushing the agency to impose strict benchmarks and audits to prevent mistakes.
Go deeper: What your hospital knows about you
Shopping in the rain. Photo: Brandi Simons/Getty
The variability of weather costs American firms $600 billion a year — and there's a massive market for AI systems that can help companies bring down those big costs, Erica writes.
Driving the news: A seldom-discussed but lucrative application of AI is to predict how weather will impact businesses, such as retailers, farms and hotels.
The big picture: Insights about the weather can save retailers money by helping them protect their supply chains from storms and floods, and they can also boost sales by clueing the companies in on what to stock the shelves with in different conditions.
Worth noting: Bigger retailers like Walmart and Target are already tracking weather and using it. "They have armies of data scientists," Walsh says, so IBM is attempting to target small and medium-sized stores instead.
For these stores, some decisions — like putting snow shovels at the front of the store the night before a nor'easter or buying up twice as much sunscreen to sell over July 4 weekend — are intuitive and don't need AI's input.
But others are not so obvious and may help drive sales if companies know what products to stock up on ahead of certain weather conditions.
A Waymo driverless car. Photo: Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty
If you ask driverless car mavens, they will tell you that developers are 90% of the way to creating a fully autonomous vehicle ready for commercial use.
Yesterday, onboard Japan's ship Kaga. Photo: Charly Triballeau/Pool/Getty
A kerfuffle appeared to surface leading up to President Trump's visit to Japan — over how Japanese names are rendered by Westerners, reports the NYT's Motoko Rich.
In international forums and the Western press, Japanese names are routinely presented backward, ,with the family name last rather than first, some senior Japanese officials complained. And they asked that it stop.
Rich wrote: "The New York Times generally writes Chinese and Korean names with surname first, while using the Western order for Japanese names — although its general policy is to render people's names the way they prefer."