Why we shouldn’t expect robot nurses anytime soon

“The easy part for people is moving the chess piece. Any of us, no matter what the chessboard looks like, without any mental challenge, can pick a piece and move it two squares. That’s it’s incredibly challenging to make a robot.”

So in an airport scenario, the best place for robots is where they already are; checking people in, weighing bags and printing labels. It is possible to transfer bags, but only when they are placed in uniform crates.


“The challenge is that suitcases come in all shapes and forms, and the handles are in all different places. It’s going to be really, really hard to get a robot to work out how to loop the luggage label here,” Walsh said.

“The worst possible environment for robots is one where things come at you in all different sizes and shapes.”

And that also means you probably won’t have a robot giving you injections anytime soon, for better or worse.

There are too many variables to make it safe. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in healthcare; there are some robots developed and even operated in drug dispensaries.

“Often, people make mistakes and give the wrong drugs or the wrong amount of drugs,” Walsh said.

“Having this medicine cabinet with a giant robot arm and lots of drawers means you don’t need mistakes. You dispense the medicines and dispense the mistakes.”

Another thing holding back robots in the workplace is cost. Autonomous vehicles are likely to remain more expensive for food delivery than a person on a bicycle, for example. But there are examples where robots are enabled despite the cost and difficulty of the work.

Aquatic robots have been on coral reefs killing dangerous crown-of-thorns starfish for years; work that would be difficult and dangerous for people. And with the lack of backpackers during the pandemic, some farms have turned into fruit-picking robots.

The situation is quite different with AI that performs tasks that do not require physical parts of the robot. Eric Swift, managing director for cloud computing company ServiceNow, says the average Australian already interacts with AI more than 100 times a day, and that in the future this will hardly change.

ServiceNow's Eric Swift.

ServiceNow’s Eric Swift.Credits:

“Research from Deloitte shows that Australians waste more than one day a week performing repetitive tasks, such as entering data or searching for information,” he said, predicting that these tasks will be the sole domain of AI.

“A future workforce will combine human and AI capabilities. Our ‘machine mates’ will be teammates, and their roles may be formalized on organizational charts.”

To return to the healthcare example, AI has already proven better than humans at detecting signs of cancer in mammograms, for example, and quickly processing large amounts of data to make decisions.

But incorporating AI into more sensitive processes such as assessment or diagnostics has many risks, such as the potential to amplify existing biases.


“There is a lot of research about racial and sexist bias in medicine, and what patients believe about their illness and how their symptoms are recorded,” said Dr Rachel Thomas, founder of the non-profit research group Fast AI.

“We have all these issues that come up in the data. And what AI is good at, is learning patterns from the data.

In medical contexts, as well as financial, legal and many others, the power imbalance between the person being examined and the assessor can also be increased with the use of AI, Thomas said, affecting human rights and the possibility of actionable means.

“Whether you use an algorithm to determine someone’s access to housing, to loans, to medical treatments, or within the criminal justice system, all of these things affect human rights,” said he.

“If a mistake is made or if some kind of life-changing decision is made, what kind of way do people need to appeal or change those decisions?”

Get news and reviews on technology, gadgets and gaming in our Technology newsletter every Friday. Sign up here.

#shouldnt #expect #robot #nurses #anytime #Source Link #Why we shouldn’t expect robot nurses anytime soon

Leave a Comment