Peanut butter and chocolate moment: AI goes great with…?

1849953350_79809bd7e6_zI have an ideation game I play called “Peanut Butter and Chocolate.” Basically, it’s mashing two seemingly unrelated things to think of how they would go together (I’m sure others have a similar technique). For example, most recently, we wondered about toilet paper (everyone needs toilet paper) and how it might go with religion (very popular) or 3D printing (also popular, though not as much as toilet paper or religion).

So, as is evident by the title of this post, what happens when we add AI to something? For me, I turn to two areas that are never far from my mind: healthcare and mobile.

I have seen machine learning being used to develop better models around readmission (yawn, isn’t it always readmissions?). What I’d like to see are more optimization solutions, such as optimizing staff, equipment, or drug usage. Or how about helping patients choose the best health plan based on their medical and resource usage history (this is a dear one to me).

Another area where I would like to see AI applied is behavioral health – can we help patients manage their mental health, what can we provide caregivers to better manage relapses or even violence? I think we spend so much time on the Big Three – heart disease, obesity, diabetes – that we fail to hit in places that are not getting attention, such as mental health, geriatrics, or the impact of poverty on health.

Though I always come back to my original concern with AI in healthcare – will it ever be better than a good nurse armed with some good data? Watson, what’s your comment on this?

I think back to my early years in mobile and how I used to talk about the mobile lifestyle. The success of AI in mobile will also be related to how it flows in with the mobile lifestyle. Though I think these days folks are a bit more savvy with mobile than way back when.

But there’s been an inordinate amount of focus on speech-driven agents that are really clever assistants. Yes, I am looking forward to agents talking to agents to schedule meetings, booking tickets or restaurants, and the like. Yet these agents require me to stop what I am doing and talk to them, breaking the mobile flow.

I want AI to recede into the background. I don’t want to tell the AI what to do, it should know. For example, when I schedule a meeting, don’t just tell me about the participants, but learn from me what is the usual info I collect before a meeting and summarize it for me. Or, learn from me what I like to know at the start of the day and summarize that for me. Or pay attention to what I am doing and where I am and make sure I get things done, based on my email or based on my calendar.

OK, so I am not so clear on where AI can go in mobile, but I do see we need to get beyond our fixation with bots and speech-driven agents.

Have you seen anything interesting around AI in mobile?

Image from Graham Hellewell