Jacob looked at the monitor and blinked. Then blinked again. The screen didn’t change. The doctor threw a look at the detailed diagram of the human brain on the opposite wall of his bright office. The picture seemed to look the same as usual, so Jacob assumed that his vision was okay.
He sighed and turned back to the Assistant conclusion, which said:
- Evelina Amber
- artificium inflammationem
Luckily, the patient was busy looking at the same colorful brain diagram, so Jacob turned off the monitor before she noticed anything.
“Ahem. Miss Amber, your case is rather unusual…”
“Oh, will I die soon?!” cried a healthy-looking young woman of thirty-something.
“What?” The question took Jacob by surprise. “No, of course not! You are not going to die soon. However, I need to consult colleagues about the treatment.”
“What is that, then?”
“It is… Ahem… Intensive physiotherapy… Which I’m not capable of performing. Could you please revisit me tomorrow?”
“Of course, Doctor Anderson. Are you sure I’m not going to die?”
“I’m positive about that, Miss Amber.”
Jacob smiled reassuringly, but as soon as she left his room, he turned on the monitor and sent the diagnosis screenshot to the doctors’ chat, asking if anyone has seen such a diagnosis before. No one had.
“I assume this is a result of the latest system upgrade. It happened three days ago,” typed one of the older doctors, whose career started long before the Ministry of Health integrated the Assistant in each medical institution of the country.
“So, what am I to do now?” asked Jacob.
Opinions divided. Younger doctors, who used to rely upon the Assistant and trusted it with the lives of their patients, opted for following the instructions. The older ones doubted and suggested to wait for another case of such a diagnosis.
Jacob chose the latter. He told Miss Amber the other day that her case required some more analysis and assured that she’s going to be alright.
The other case didn’t take much time to wait. In two days after the initial discussion, one of the older doctors reported getting the same results. “Aha!” said the youngsters. ”Holy crap!” thought the elders. Jacob sighed and went out to buy some equipment.
Miss Amber was shocked, but since she was a thoughtful and responsible lady, she willingly laid on Doctor Anderson’s knees and allowed him to perform the intensive physiotherapy.
Another unlucky patient, Mr. Collins, was not so obedient and tried to avoid the treatment. However, his doctor reminded him about the agreement every patient signed before each visit and never read, and this resolved the conflict.
Two months passed. A new type of medical treatment became a routine. The patients usually were surprised, but almost everyone reported feeling better afterward.
Jacob was enjoying the pause between the patients when the doctors chat blinked with a new message. As Jacob read it, he first looked puzzled, then warned, and finally laughed hysterically. It said:
“Colleges, we made a terrible mistake! I found the reason we get this weird diagnosis, in the source code of the Assistant. There are two pieces. The first one says:
# we should never enter
# the following block,
# as the threshold
# is very close to 0;
# if we do, the system
# is very likely broken,
# so the following
# diagnosis and treatment
# values obviously represent
# a diagnostic error
if confidence is less
than threshold then
“You see, the Assistant makes a diagnosis with some level of confidence. The first lines are the comments of the programmer, which claim that this level is always above the threshold, so we should never get such a diagnosis.
“However, the second piece of code was changed recently and says:
# FOR THE TEST PURPOSE ONLY!
# DO NOT FORGET TO CHANGE
# THIS VALUE BACK TO 0.001!
threshold = 0.1
“So, someone chose spanking as an error indicator, and someone else increased the threshold temporary and forgot to change it back. We were treating sick people incorrectly for more than two months instead of contacting the Assistant developers right away. God save our souls, colleges…”
© Mariya Davydova 2019
read original article at https://medium.com/dont-awake-the-mage/treatment-12da96264963?source=rss——artificial_intelligence-5