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    The Retinator II: Judgment Day?

    Most human aspect of computers is they are, as humans, prone to err

     

    Man and machine

    Remarkably, however, it does increasingly seem that the way to make these systems more reliable and robust is to make them more similar to humans, and in some sense, to train them as we train our residents and fellows—by having them repeat examinations, learn the variations of normal and abnormal, apply those observations, make some mistakes, be told they are wrong, and adjust to get better.

    So, what ultimately will become of this alliance between man and machine?

    Part of me still hopes for the scenario where I sit on a beach and let the computer do my job, while keeping my salary. The more realistic scenario, however, is that automated algorithms will provide efficient detection of sight-threatening disease, reaching places where access is limited, identifying the patients who need care, and ultimately increasing the number of patients the physician sees.

    Thus, despite the Retinator, it seems I have some job security going forward. Still, as these algorithms become increasingly sophisticated, I can’t help but hear a voice in the background saying, “I’ll be back.” 

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