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Connor Brenna



If Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes as the character who excelled at everything, then why did he create Dr. John Watson? One response is that even the best of us are better with a partner who can compensate for our weaknesses and provide diverging perspectives that stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. Similarly, IBM’s supercomputer Watson is among a new wave of artificial intelligences that can complement human skill sets, with applications in a wide variety of fields. Demonstrating promise as a physician’s partner, Watson has found recent implementations in the healthcare system, particularly in treatment recommendations for different cancers and in research of therapeutic gene targets in patients. While Watson has many hurdles to overcome before it will see widespread uptake, the early studies that document its successful applications in healthcare are cause for excitement about the future of artificial intelligence in medicine.