Recently, a Chinese artificial intelligence-powered robot named Xiaoyi (meaning Little Doctor) passed the written test of China’s national medical licensing examination, which is the first exam for any would-be practitioner in the country. Xiaoyi is the first robot in the world to pass such an exam.
Xiaoyi was developed by leading Chinese AI company iFlytek. To clear this examination, Xiaoyi absorbed the contents of dozens of medical textbooks, more than 2 million medical records, and 400,000 articles.
Xiaoyi took a fraction of the allotted time to complete the test. And when the results came, the robot doctor passed this exam with flying colors, scoring a stunning 456 points — 96 points above a passing grade.
iFlytek developed this robot to assist doctors in improving the efficiency of their treatments. It will automatically capture and analyze patient information and make an initial diagnosis.
Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek, said, “We will officially launch the robot in March 2018. It is not meant to replace doctors. Instead, it is to promote better people-machine cooperation so as to boost efficiency.” Qingfeng added, “General practitioners are in severe shortage in China’s rural areas. We hope AI can help more people access quality medical resource.”
iFlytek plans to use AI to improve cancer treatment and for training general practitioners.