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Tag: AI Agent

Who Needs Humans, Anyway?

By KIM BELLARD

Imagine my excitement when I saw the headline: “Robot doctors at world’s first AI hospital can treat 3,000 a day.” Finally, I thought – now we’re getting somewhere. I must admit that my enthusiasm was somewhat tempered to find that the patients were virtual. But, still.

The article was in Interesting Engineering, and it largely covered the source story in Global Times, which interviewed the research team leader Yang Liu, a professor at China’s Tsinghua University, where he is executive dean of Institute for AI Industry Research (AIR) and associate dean of the Department of Computer Science and Technology. The professor and his team just published a paper detailing their efforts.  

The paper describes what they did: “we introduce a simulacrum of hospital called Agent Hospital that simulates the entire process of treating illness. All patients, nurses, and doctors are autonomous agents powered by large language models (LLMs).” They modestly note: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first simulacrum of hospital, which comprehensively reflects the entire medical process with excellent scalability, making it a valuable platform for the study of medical LLMs/agents.”

In essence, “Resident Agents” randomly contract a disease, seek care at the Agent Hospital, where they are triaged and treated by Medical Professional Agents, who include 14 doctors and 4 nurses (that’s how you can tell this is only a simulacrum; in the real world, you’d be lucky to have 4 doctors and 14 nurses). The goal “is to enable a doctor agent to learn how to treat illness within the simulacrum.”

The Agent Hospital has been compared to the AI town developed at Stanford last year, which had 25 virtual residents living and socializing with each other. “We’ve demonstrated the ability to create general computational agents that can behave like humans in an open setting,” said Joon Sung Park, one of the creators. The Tsinghua researchers have created a “hospital town.”

Gosh, a healthcare system with no humans involved. It can’t be any worse than the human one. Then, again, let me know when the researchers include AI insurance company agents in the simulacrum; I want to see what bickering ensues.

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Glen Tullman, CEO, Transcarent, talks about their new Wayfinding AI service

Glen Tullman came on THCB to talk about Transcarent’s new Wayfinding AI service. Transcarent has spent more than $125m (of the some $450m or so it’s raised so far) plugging an AI chatbot called Wayfinding into its various segments–which include the former 98.6 now rebranded as Transcarent Everyday Care. Wayfinding has benefits, clinical guidance and care delivery on one intelligent chatbot platform. No coincidence that this is released the same week as OpenAI released Chat GPT4o and the latest Google Gemini release. Make no mistake, this is a huge bet and probably the most aggressive, if obvious, use of an AI agent in health care I’ve seen so far. I saw a demo earlier which was pretty impressive and I had fun talking with Glen about what it’s capable of doing now, and what it will be–Matthew Holt