Eric Schmidt says AI won’t replace your doctor

Former Alphabet executive Eric Schmidt has strong opinions about how modern computing will change medicine — or not.

At a healthcare conference on Monday, he said he doesn’t fully buy into the vision of artificial intelligence replacing doctors, unlike some of his Silicon Valley counterparts, notably Vinod Khosla.

Instead, he would certainly want a “human from the loop” if he were sick, however one who had the latest technologies at their disposal to help with their decision-generating.

Computers can play a role in spitting out useful information, like predicting a bad outcome before the item happens, however ultimately he’d want a human in charge, Schmidt said.

To ensure which doctors in addition to nurses have access to the right data, whether the item will be labs, images or notes, Schmidt spoke about the importance of open standards. He referenced a brand-new software tool coming from Alphabet’s cloud unit, Google Cloud, which helps health institutions pull together important medical data.

Despite these efforts, he described the health care ecosystem as still being stuck from the “stone age,” given its reliance on ancient technology such as fax machines in addition to pagers.

To combat which, he encouraged the attendees at the HIMSS healthcare conference to consider moving to the cloud in addition to hire more engineers.

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