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Are You Ready To Zoom With Dr. ChatGPT?
Science fiction writers have long enjoyed writing about robot doctors and robot surgeons; but how long will it be before you actually speak with an artificially intelligent physicanbot - Dr. ChatGPT?
Many of you already have!
If you’re a typical person who has plenty of medical questions and not enough time with a doctor to ask them, you may have already turned to ChatGPT for help. Have you asked ChatGPT to interpret the results of that lab test your doctor ordered? The one that came back with inscrutable numbers? Or maybe you described some symptoms you’ve been having and asked for a diagnosis. In which case the chatbot probably responded with something that began like, “I’m an AI and not a doctor,” followed by some at least reasonable-seeming advice.
(Via IEEE Spectrum.)
For a lot of science fiction writers, it was convenient to combine the knowledge of the doctor with hardware to complete the necessary treatment; the autodoc from World of Ptavvs (1965) by Larry Niven is a typical example.
But, it had lots of predecessors; compare to the emergency treatment tank from Agent of Vega (1949) by James Schmitz, the shipboard medical treatment from Contagion (1950) by Katherine MacLean, the
Gobathian from Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) by Clifford Simak, the surgical homeostatic unit from Now Wait For Last Year (1966) by Philip K. Dick, the diagnostat from The Man in the Maze (1969) by Robert Silverberg, electronic body analyzer from The Andromeda Strain (1969) by Michael Crichton, the crechepod from The Godmakers (1972) by Frank Herbert and the autosurgeon from Altered Carbon (2003) by Richard Morgan.
See also the phymech robot doctor from Wanted in Surgery (1957) by Harlan Ellison.
(Phymechs from 'Wanted in Surgery' by Harlan Ellison)
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