Singularity is Closer than Thought
Can an average American high school graduate spell anesthesiologist? Usually no.
Does he/she know what an anesthesiologist does? Probably yes.
Can an average American high school graduate spell radiologist? Probably yes.
Does he/she know what a radiologist does? Typically no.
If you were to gain the confidence of the American public (leaders in medicine, politics, citizens) for
having robots engage in medicine, would you start with anesthesiology or radiology (the reading of
X-rays for abnormalities such as cancer)?
Whereas there is only one anesthesiologist in a typical operation, there can be multiple radiologists
reading the same X-ray to make sure that the reading is accurate. The human radiologists can
hopefully catch the mistakes made by a robot as the robot is gaining in capabilities and in human's
confidence in the robot radiologist. Also, you would want to start with radiology because if the
machine makes a mistake, the patient is not in immediate danger of dying.
How long does it typically take a human to become an Radiologist after graduating high school?
It typically takes 13 years.
How long did it take to develop R2, a robot radiologist that looks for breast cancer?
Less than 5 years.
How many X-rays has the typical radiologist read during his/her training?
Whatever the number is, the human simply cannot read but a small fraction of what a robot can read
simply because the robot can work 24-7 and the human needs to eat and 'get some shut eye'. After
a couple of decades of experience, the robot has had a chance to 'follow-up' on most of the patients
to see whether the robot had issued a correct diagnosis. In addition, the memory of the robot can
be copied to a second robot and the second robot has effectively "been trained" in a few minutes
compared to the 13 years to train a second human Radiologist. In addition, this second robot has
received the 20 years of experience of the first robot.
Compare that to taking 18 years to make a few high school graduates some of which will be smart
enough and motivated enough to spend another 13 years to make themselves into a radiologist. After
that, it takes another 20 years experience to 'season' the human radiologist. In summary, you can
wait over 50 years to produce a human radiologist or buy one in the form of a robot.
Humans do not stand a chance of competing in such an environment.