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Meet AMIE, Google’s Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer



DeepMind and Googles Articulate Medical intelligence Explorer, or AMIE

Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer (AMIE)

Anyone who has ever had to sit in a waiting room for a long time might appreciate Google’s newest innovation.

Google DeepMind is introducing the Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer, or AMIE. AMIE is a medical AI assistant that takes a patient’s history and symptoms and determines a diagnosis with incredible accuracy.

According to the subjects who tested AMIE, the AI surpassed real doctors in 24 out of 26 different metrics, including empathy.

How Does Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer Work?

A patient will tell the medical intelligence explorer what symptoms they’re experiencing. AMIE will take the patient’s history and evaluate the symptoms. After, it will ask a series of questions until it determines a diagnosis. By the time the patient reaches a human doctor, the initial diagnostic conversation will already be done. The doctor will be free to move on to the next step of treating the patient.

The exact nature of the hardware hasn’t yet been revealed. However, Google and DeepMind are promising a user-friendly, text-chat-based experience. It will be available in a wide variety of medical clinics, much like 3D printing in hospitals.

How Does the Articulate Medical Explorer Help Doctors?

Google’s Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer will streamline the treatment of patients by diagnosing a problem so that the doctor can get straight to the treatment needed.

The conversation between a doctor and a patient is more complicated than one might realize. In one go, doctors need to:

  • Have extensive medical knowledge.
  • Have the ability to instantly analyze the patient’s responses.
  • Pick out the key information that will lead to the next question.
  • Diagnose a patient correctly.

That seems like a lot to ask of an AI, but AMIE does it so well, that people hired to test the program have rated it to be as good as a real-life physician. And in some cases, even better. 

How Was AMIE Developed?

Google DeepMind’s Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer, or AMIE, was fed transcripts of almost 100,000 real-life conversations between doctors and patients. As well, they included detailed summaries of notes from intensive care unit cases and thousands of questions from the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

It would take the average human years to absorb that much information and it still wouldn’t be enough. That’s because these kinds of human interactions can be imprecise, full of unnecessary detail, and incomplete. 

The research team also developed a continuous cycle of examination and critical analysis to allow AMIE to continue to grow and develop with each interaction.

AMIE Surpassed Doctors in Empathy

Subjects underwent Diagnostic conversations with AMIE. They were not told whether they were talking to a human doctor or articulate medical AI. They were then asked to evaluate their experience on 26 different metrics such as accuracy and efficiency. 

The patients rated AMIE over a real-life doctor in 24 out of 26 of those metrics. Amazingly, one of those metrics where the AI system outranked the human doctor, was empathy.

articulate medical intelligence explorer (AMIE)
Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer (AMIE) Performance

One can only imagine if, in the future, Organoid Intelligence is brought into the mix.

Will Articulate Medical Intelligence Replace Doctors?

While Google’s Medical Explorer was rated higher than real doctors in 24 different metrics, it’s important to understand that Google’s medical AI will only complement the work of human doctors. It won’t be a replacement. No matter how good the AMIE system is, there are things a computer just can’t replace.

Benefits of Articulate Medical Explorer

Google and DeepMind’s Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer can:

  • Reduce patient wait times.
  • provide quick and accurate alternatives to in-person care.
  • Lead doctors to quicker and more accurate conclusions.
  • Provide medical care in remote areas where medical staff is limited. 

However, the researchers have not lost sight of AMIE’s limitations.

Cons of Articulate Medical Explorer

Although the Articulate Medical Intelligence Explorer was rated higher than human doctors in 24 different metrics, AI lacks the instinct to handle delicate situations required for issues like ethics. Some cons include the following:

  • It may take time for doctors to leave something as important as medical care in the virtual hands of an AI.
  • AMIE is limited only to the knowledge fed to it.
  • It still needs to be more advanced to provide a diagnosis for complex queries.

It’s safe to say that human medical personnel will be around for a long time to come.

The Future of AMIE

AMIE’s future as a diagnostic tool is incredibly promising. It has the potential to revolutionize the way patients experience healthcare on a global scale.

It’s very important to remember, however, that AMIE is still only at the research stage. There’s plenty more fine-tuning and testing to do. Researchers also recognize the critical importance of moving forward with caution. AMIE might become a common feature in clinics and hospitals in the future.

DeepMind and Googles Articulate Medical intelligence Explorer (AMIE)

IC Inspiration

Thank goodness for Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett.

If it weren’t for her and her relentless determination, we might all still be locked in our houses hiding behind masks and waiting for the hours to pass.

Anyone who lived through the pandemic years will never forget it. Those few weeks in early 2020 were the worst. That was the time when Covid had officially spread to all corners of the globe, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a worldwide pandemic. 

We all sat on the edge of our seats, at home, with no idea what to expect. Meanwhile, Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett-Helaire was locked in her lab with the biggest and most important assignment of her life:

Find a vaccine for COVID-19.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Kizzy is that she saw this coming. In February 2020, as the first reports of the virus were coming out of Asia, she knew that this had the potential to become a pandemic.

She told PopSugar “I remember sitting my mom on her bed and telling her, ‘I don’t know what’s going on right now, but . . . this is going to be far bigger than we could probably ever imagine,'”

It’s hard to imagine the pressure the doctor felt. She worked 16 to 20 hours a day as news poured in on more and more cases around the world.

“As one of the people who had the only tool out of it, it was so hard to experience. People were dying, and you knew that more people would die if you didn’t hurry and if you didn’t do a great job.”

Talk about a high-pressure task. She was probably more aware than any of us of the number of people losing their lives each day.

Yet, she was also the best person for the task. This was not just because she holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology with expertise in the challenges and benefits of viruses. It was also because of her furious determination to do what she set out to do.

It was a very high-stress situation. It meant being away from her family, church, and her favorite activities.

Somewhere in the middle of the storm, she had a sudden realization.

“I had to protect my spirit or the vaccine would’ve failed, because there is no way that you can do a job of that level without a protected self.”

So, for the sake of a world that was waiting for relief, she started meditating and exercising again.

In November of 2020, Kizzy received the good news everyone had been waiting for. The final test results were in. The vaccine that she and her team had developed was highly effective against the COVID-19 virus.

“I just remember crying,” she says, “All of the trauma was somewhere deep down, suppressed really, and the relief of the trial results just let it all come out.”

Joy L. Magnusson is an experienced freelance writer with a special passion for nature and the environment—topics she writes about widely in publications. Her work has been featured on Our Canada Magazine, Zooanthology, Written Tales Chapbook and more.


3 Mind-blowing Benefits of Viruses You Should Know



benefits of viruses

How Many Viruses are in the Human Body?

There are approximately 10 Trillion viruses in a single human body. That is 10x the amount of money lost yearly from food waste in the U.S. alone.

You’d think that you would be very sick or even dead, right?


It turns out that viruses aren’t entirely the super villains they’ve been painted to be; there are benefits of viruses that often go unnoticed, but which play an important role in our healthcare.

For years, news has been focused on the disease-causing side of viruses, but the disease-preventing side of viruses are playing a crucial role in the world today. This role will become even bigger with advances in AI and Organoid Intelligence.

Here are 3 mind-blowing benefits of viruses that you should know!

Viruses Help Cure Cancer

Cancer cells don’t have strong antiviral defences, making them vulnerable to infections. Viral infections can sometimes lead to certain cancers. For instance, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is implicated to cause cervical cancer.

On the other hand, this means that viruses can also kill cancer cells. If they are used by researchers to specifically target these cancer cells, then viruses can even help cure cancer.

While the benefits of viruses include killing cancer cells, the only problem is that these viruses can also kill healthy cells in the process.

How Can Viruses Cure Cancer?

Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are viruses that kill tumors. While Oncolytic viruses can be found in nature, they are also modified by scientists to attack tumours without harming healthy cells.

Oncolytic viruse therapy is a cancer treatment that uses OVs to target cancer cells over healthy cells. It does this by activating a ‘danger signals” that makes tumours less immune to viruses.

The result is an effective treatment that can help viruses cure cancer.

Viruses Treat Genetic Disorders

Among the benefits of viruses is that they treat genetic disorders. Viruses are very good at delivering genetic materials into cells, which make them useful for gene therapy. Scientists have developed what are called “viral vectors”. Viral vectors are tools that use modified viruses to transport a functional gene to cells that need them. When the cells receive these genes, they begin to function properly and could be used to treat genetic disorders.

How do Viruses Help With Gene Therapy?

Before a virus is used as a viral vector, it is “defanged”. Like the name suggests, to defang means to remove the part of something that could be dangerous. By defanging a virus and using it as a vehicle to deliver genes to cells, viruses can treat genetic disorders in ways that do not harm the cells.

Among the genetic disorders that viruses can help treat are sickle cell disease (SCD) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LSA).

  • Sickle cell disease (SCD): SCD is a disorder where hemoglobin is defective in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is used to deliver oxygen to the blood. With SCD, hemoglobin molecules stick together, causing a variety of serious issues. By using viruses in gene therapy, a modified hemoglobin gene is delivered to the red blood cells as treatment.
  • Leber congenital amaurosis (LSA): LSA is a rare and inherited eye disease that causes vision loss early in life. Virus vectors have been shown to be successful in reversing the retinal diseases. One such case was Carlene Knight, who began to see colours again after treatment.

Viruses Create Vaccines

Viruses are often used to create vaccines. Vaccines contain weakened forms of the virus they hope to prevent. By giving someone a vaccine with a weakened form of a virus, an immune response is triggered without the person receiving the disease. This trigger will allow the body to learn how to fight off the infection without overreacting. The result is that when the immune system comes into contact with the virus again, it is prepared to destroy the virus quickly and efficiently.

The most clear benefits of viruses to humans can be found by looking at the chickenpox vaccine. The chicken pox vaccine was created by Dr. Michiaki Takahashi in the 1970s and uses a weakened form of varicella virus. The vaccine has since saved millions of people.  

The Benefits of Viruses in the Future

The human microbiome is a community of microorganisms that live in our body. Your body is a superorganism that includes cells that cohabit with fungi, bacteria, and, most abundant of all, viruses. However, until a decade ago, scientists didn’t know much about the human virome — the viruses that inhabit us. 

Today, they’ve barely scratched the surface, but at least they understand that the virome is a critical part of your microbiome. Virus benefits can be found in every corner you check. You’ve got viruses on your skin, mouth, blood, lungs; everywhere.

Mohammadsharif Tabebordbar is among the scientists dedicating his life to studying the benefits of viruses to humans. He even led the creation of an experimental gene therapy that treats genetic muscle disorders. 

“When I hear the word virus, I’m not scared anymore,” Tabebordbar aptly told the Harvard Medicine Magazine. “I ask, ‘Okay, what type of virus? What does it do? What are the implications?'”

Viruses are crucial to our survival. They support much of life on our planet, and without viruses, life on Earth as we know it would cease to exist.

benefits of viruses to humans


For a millennia, humans have been plagued with diseases.

Polio was the most feared disease for thousands of years because those who survived faced lifelong consequences. Polio had spread worldwide, paralyzing over 350,000 people annually. 

Then, in 1955, US Physician Jonas Salk successfully created the first inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). He first tested it on himself and his family, and later, it was used on 1.6 million kids in the US, Canada, and Finland.

Six pharmaceutical companies were licensed to produce IPV, but Salk didn’t profit from sharing his discovery with pharmaceutical companies. He understood that to help humanity, the polio vaccine had to be low or no-cost. 

In an CBS television interview in 1955, he was asked who owned the patent for polio’s IPV (inactivated polio vaccine), and his answer was heartwarming:

“Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

A few years after Salk’s IPV, Albert Sabin, a Polish-American medical researcher, developed the oral polio vaccine (OPV). OPVs have significantly eradicated polio in almost every corner of the world.

The creation of the poliovirus vaccines is a wonderful historical example of the benefits of viruses and of the dedication of medical researchers. With every passing day there is growing potential of using viruses to deliver vaccines, treat illnesses, and diagnose infections.

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Smart Cane Revolutionizes Blind Navigation Like Never Before



Smart Cane Revolutionizes Blind Navigation Like Never Before

The Smart Cane: A Guiding Light for the Blind

Artificial Intelligence is all the buzz recently, and for good reason. Its application has included turning thoughts into text, and it will even be used to learn the “flying habits” of those who have pre-ordered the Doroni H1 flying car. For the past few years now, AI has also been used to help the visually impaired with the creation of the smart cane.

Smart canes revolutionize the ordinary white cane by using Artificial Intelligence to help the visually like never before. These canes can help the visually impaired detect objects by using flash memory, ultrasonic sensors, and touchpads. It can even inform the user when the next bus will arrive.

An estimated 250 million people are living with vision loss around the world, and smart cane technology could not have come at a better time.

The History of the Smart Cane

The traditional white cane was developed in the 1920s by James Biggs, an artist who had lost his vision in an accident. To protect himself from traffic he couldn’t see, he painted his walking stick white. This alerted drivers to where he was, and it quickly became a universal symbol for blind or visually impaired pedestrians.

Over a century later, the design remains virtually unchanged.

However, with the introduction of smart cane technology, change is happening. This exciting new revolution will make the world a safer and more welcoming place for those who live with vision loss.

Smart Cane Pioneer Riya Karumanch

One of the pioneers of the smart cane was a fourteen-year-old girl entrepreneur.

In 2018, Riya Karumanch was a ninth-grade student when she saw the need for a new device for the blind. The inspiration came to her as she observed her friend’s grandmother walk into furniture and other objects while trying to navigate with her traditional white cane.

This young lady noted that the traditional cane makes left-to-right sweeping motions across the floor which allows the user to detect anything on the floor level, such as a carpet. However, anything higher than that, such as a dining table, is beyond the standard cane, making it easy for the user to walk into it.

Riya Karumanch did a great deal of useful work raising awareness of the shortcomings of the white cane and researching how to use artificial intelligence to create a better option.

At around the same time, an organization called WeWALK had also been working on creating smart cane technology, and they have become very successful in doing so.

Kursat Ceylan: Founder of WeWalk

Kursat Ceylan, WeWALK co-founder, is intimately familiar with the needs of the blind. Kursat was born without sight. He has scars on his head from the multiple times he’s walked into low-hanging branches and other things his traditional cane could not detect.

So, he founded WeWALK and developed the WeWalk smart cane.

How Does Smart Cane Work?

The WeWALK smart cane technology comes in the form of a handle that can be attached to any standard cane. The smart handle combines several different forms of technology that can be activated using an app. The many features of the smart handle meet the various challenges of those with visual impairments.

Smart Cane Specs

  • Ultrasonic Sensor: Smart canes use an ultrasonic sensor to detect objects above floor level and alert the user to avoid trips and falls. It uses artificial intelligence to calculate the exact location of the object. It then vibrates to alert the user of an object.
  • Google Maps Integration: The WeWALK app is directly integrated with Google Maps to provide verbal, step-by-step directions to any given location. 
  • Bluetooth Smartphone App The cane can be paired with smartphones. It also includes a feature for finding the cane when it’s out of reach.
  • Voice control: Voice recognition technology makes it easy to access the cane’s features with simple verbal commands. A verbal request to go to the grocery store will signal the cane to find and provide the directions to get there.
  • Public Transportation: A verbal request will also allow the user to find out where to catch the next bus and when it will arrive.

Smart Canes Will Make Lives Better

Blindness and visual impairment create limited mobility and options. Even a stroll through the local park can be hard.

Smart cane technology will help to turn that all around. It will provide those who need it with a new freedom to experience the world around them in ways not possible before. It will allow them to go to appointments on their own without having to wait for a ride or companion. They will be able to explore their neighborhoods and even travel with more independence and safety than ever before.

Most importantly, though, it will bring equality and inclusion.

Jean Marc Feghali is the head of research and development at WeWALK.

“There is a big psychological part in this,” he points out on the FreeThink news website, “The psychological part starts with a bad experience or lack of mobility. It ultimately leads to disadvantages in society as a whole and a more segregated society, which is why we at WeWALK have actually focused our efforts on bringing the visually impaired into the 21st century, giving everyone an equal playing field.”

The Smart Cane Technology promises a brighter future for the blind or visually impaired.

What is the Future of Smart Cane Technology?

Smart Cane companies like WeWALK make their data openly accessible to other scientists and researchers. This information will result in the future development of better applications and technology for the visually impaired. This shared data will be used to continue to improve and grow smart cane technology.

Open Access AI is Becoming a Wonderful Blessing

Many companies are making their AI technology open access simply to provide help and benefits to those who need it. One such case is, a tech company that provides a free AI weapon detection app for non-profit organizations.

WeWalk had this to say on their website:

“We want everyone in the visually impaired community to experience better mobility. So, even if you don’t own a WeWALK Smart Cane, you can still access our advanced navigation and exploration features by downloading the WeWALK smartphone app, available for iOS and Android.”

For the smart cane, we can foresee applications beyond the use of a cane. One day, the data collected could even influence the design of city infrastructure to make life better for everyone.

smart cane technology

IC Inspiration

For generations, blindness was perceived as a barrier to most activities.

There are people, however, who refuse to let lack of vision get in their way. They are determined to experience anything anyone else can.

Then some go way beyond that.

Erik Weihenmayer lost his vision as a teenager to a condition called retinoschisis nut he refused to be left on the sidelines.

In 2001, he became the first person ever to climb to the summit of the famous Mt. Everest, something most of us will never do.

He wouldn’t dream of stopping there. He’s made difficult climbs all over the world, including each of the highest points on every continent in the world. He is one of only 150 climbers in history to accomplish this feat.

He’s written books about his adventures and made a name for himself as one of the most exciting and inspiring speakers in the world.

Most importantly, though, he’s sharing his incredible spirit with the world. He’s spearheading an organization called “No Barriers”. Its mission is to help all of us face whatever challenges we have with his kind of courage and optimism. He lives what he calls a “No Barriers” life and he wants to help others do the same.

Erik gives inspirational talks, provides educational materials, and offers scholarships.

Erik’s message is not limited to his blindness. He speaks to all of us when he says:

“I think this is the best time in history, the most precious time in history to be a pioneer, to reach out, to seize hold of adversity and challenges we face, to harness energy not only to transform our own lives but to elevate the world around us.”

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3D Printing in Hospitals Has Saved Children’s Lives



Surgeon in mask smiling after a successful surgery

3D Printing in Hospitals

Using 3D printing in hospitals is revolutionizing healthcare. In 2013, only three hospitals worldwide had a 3D printing facility. In 2019, that number increased to 113.

The number of hospitals that use 3D printing technology continues to rise. This is because using 3D printing in hospitals can reduce costs and save lives.

3D printing gives a clear view of surgical margins before surgery is underwent. In fact, this technology has reduced breast cancer re-excision rates by 50%.

How Does 3D Printing in Hospitals Save Lives?

3D printing in hospitals saves lives by allowing surgeons to practice before doing the surgery. When a patient requires complex surgery, 3D printers can create realistic parts of the human anatomy. Surgeons then use these parts for practice to sharpen their skills.

Barcelona-based SJD Children’s Hospital has saved the lives of many children using this method.

“The use of 3D printing in healthcare has represented a fundamental milestone compared to the use of 2D images,” says the head of SJD’s Neurosurgery Department Dr. José Hinojosa Mena-Bernal. “And now Stratasys’ 3D printing technology is taking a further step forward.”

We couldn’t agree more!

How is 3D Printing used in the Medical Field?

3D printing has been used in the medical field to create realistic human anatomy. Doctors use this anatomy to map out the safest routes for executing a complex surgery. These routes may have gone undiscovered if 3D printing technology had not been used.

SJD Children’s Hospital recently saved the life of a nine-year-old boy with an extremely complex and rare disease. The procedure required doctors to remove a malignant tumor. When the doctors looked at the MRI, they thought that they would have to take an invasive pathway to reach the tumour. This invasive pathway would most likely disrupt the spine and would require another surgery afterwards.

However, after the MRI, they decided to explore possible pathways using the 3D model of the anatomy, and what they discovered was amazing!

They discovered a new pathway for reaching the tumour that would keep them from doing another surgery on the boy. This pathway would only need an endoscopic approach through the nostrils.

The doctors managed to avoid contact with any vital organs surrounding the tumour, and no surgery was required afterwards.

Talk about a blast of hope and relief!

The 3D Printing Device Used in SJD Children’s Hospital

The 3D printer used in the SJD Children’s Hospital—the J5 Medijet—is very sophisticated. The color and texture it uses to create a 3D human anatomy replica can even mimic vascular systems. Vascular systems are very thin, and close precision could make all the difference in the world. This makes practice very important for surgeons.

3D printing in hospitals has now become a wonderful reality that will continue to save lives.

beautiful women smiling with her child

IC Inspiration

Imagine the relief of the parents and the young boy after the surgeon tells them that they no longer need to undergo dangerous surgery and that instead, they would be performing a simple procedure.

The difference between 2D and 3D is a single number, but that tiny change is worth as much as the entire world. No number can be used to describe the relief of everyone involved in that situation.

That relief would have only been possible by using 3D printing in hospitals. One can only imagine how many more lives could be made better by using this technology.

Another encouraging thought is the prospect of 3D printing organs for those who need a transplant.

There are more than 100,000 people in the U.S. alone who are on the wait list for organ donation. Imagine a time when they will no longer have to wait to receive a life-saving transplant.

3D printing is an evolving, new technology. It is very likely that in the next decade, 3D printing organs will also become a reality.

But for now, 3D printing in hospitals is a stepping stone. Centres like SJD Children’s Hospital are enhancing health care with every life they save, creating yet another story that is worthy of some inspiring news!

If 3D printing in hospitals sounds good, how does 3D printing on the roadside sound?

3D printing is also being used to create airless car tires for the future. To become part of an inspired community, join our socials below.

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