The Wall Street Journal reported that Google’s innovative Med-PaLM 2, an AI-driven tool designed to manage medical queries, has entered the testing phase at prestigious institutions such as the Mayo Clinic research hospital.
Med-PaLM 2, a derivative of the language model PaLM 2, powers Google’s Bard and was announced at this year’s Google I/O. The chatbot promises to deliver healthcare dialogues with greater efficacy than its generic competitors, such as Bard, Bing, and ChatGPT, owing to its training on a select dataset of medical expert interactions.
According to an internal communication obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Google anticipates that Med-PaLM 2 will be especially beneficial in regions with limited doctor accessibility. However, while the intent is admirable, the efficacy of the AI chatbot is still a matter of debate.
In a study published by Google in May, physicians identified inaccuracies and extraneous information in both the original version of Med-PaLM and updated versions of Med-PaLM 2. It was discovered that the detected inconsistencies exceeded those found in responses from human physicians.
However, not everything was bad for the AI chatbot. In terms of displaying evidence of reasoning, providing answers supported by consensus, and demonstrating accurate comprehension, Med-PaLM 2 was comparable to the performance of actual physicians.
Although the ongoing experiments are still in their infancy, data privacy has been carefully considered. According to a report from the WSJ, the data used in the Med-PaLM 2 clinical trials will be securely encrypted, and Google will not have access to it, assuring the protection of customer data.
Greg Corrado, Google’s senior research director, believes that Med-PaLM 2 has a long way to go despite its potential and the progress it has made thus far. He admits that he would not want it involved in the “healthcare journey” of his family now. However, he remains optimistic regarding the impact Med-PaLM 2 could have on healthcare AI applications, potentially exponentially expanding their scope.