Deep learning “godfather” Geoffrey Hinton, who knows all too well the limitations of our health-care system, has joined forces with University of Toronto President Emeritus Dr. David Naylor to communicate the life-saving potential of artificial intelligence to physicians – an effort literally hashed out over the kitchen table.
The two academic luminaries recently published companion “Viewpoint” pieces in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that seek to demystify deep learning, a branch of AI that mimics how the human brain learns, and lay out the factors that will drive its adoption in medicine.
The one-two punch – Hinton on the technology, Naylor on factors driving its adoption in health care – was conceived by the two men after nearly a dozen meetings and untold cups of coffee in, of all places, the airy kitchen of Naylor’s midtown Toronto home.
“My hope is that a large number of doctors and medical researchers, who have no idea what this stuff is about – they don’t know what it is other than some weird form of statistics – will have an intuitive understanding of how it works,” says Hinton, a University Professor Emeritus in U of T’s computer science department who also works for Google.
“I want them to get an idea of what’s really going on inside these systems.”