🤖 Finally a good bot joke, and reframing medicine to be more patient-centric

And Tyra Banks has advice to deal with the bots

The Good

The first one of these jokes in 2018 was about making a bot watch Olive Garden commercials and got a lot of attention. The non-tech crowd loved it, while developers pulled their hair out, pointing out everything from technical issues to the fact there weren’t even hours of Olive Garden commercials out there. Just like memoirists get in trouble for making up stories and calling it nonfiction, using this setup lets you get away with lazy writing. At least the Olive Garden tweet was original, because now these bot jokes are all over and I hate them all.

Until I saw the one above. It is as close as you can come to a perfect topical joke. I can’t imagine trying to explain this to someone in five years, a non-American, or someone not on Twitter. More of this, please.

The Bad

There is a lot of cheerleading around what AI can do for healthcare. Every time an algo beats some human doctors, we hear about it. The latest one was a Google AI that could find breast cancer in mammograms better than trained specialists.

However, as this Wired story points out, research like this is coming to medicine from a very narrow viewpoint. Symptom-free people are getting over-diagnosed for cancer, with pretty mixed outcomes. This is happening even without AI, which of course has the ability to make the situation worse. We have to rethink everything, as the author writes:

If AI is going to prove truly revolutionary, it will need to do more than just reinstate the status quo in medicine; and before any such approach is adopted, it’s important to address a pair of fundamental questions: What problem is the technology trying to address, and how will it improve patient outcomes? It may take some time to find the necessary answers.

AI is supposed to speed things up, but to do it right for things like cancer screening and treatment, we are going to have to slow it down.

More News

A cottage industry has sprung up to teach people how to apply to jobs when an AI will be weeding through applicants. One suggestion? “Smile with your eyes.”

San Diego police gathered 65,000 face scans in three years but none helped with a single arrest.

Soccer fans protested police using face rec tech at a stadium in the UK to try to spot anyone blacklisted from games. I wonder if the reaction would be the same if it was the stadium owners did it?

The Ring CEO cried seeing footage of his device being hacked and used to harass an 8-year-old.

Google’s AI can come up with weather forecasts from computations done in a matter of minutes.

The EU is considering banning face rec tech in public areas for five years as they work out how to prevent abuses (and more time to work out the kinks!).

Adult movie stars do not like it when you use deepfakes and their footage to put unsuspecting people into porn videos.


“People think this is something new. But what everybody is getting into now, we did it a long time ago.”

-Florida’ Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in an article about Florida’s two-decade (!) long use of face rec tech.


Until the bots smize back,