AI-powered robot Xiaoyi took China’s medical licensing examinations and passed, making it the first robot ever to do so. China has already shown an eagerness to incorporate AI into their industries.
The robot scored 456 points in the exam, 96 points above the required marks. Developed by iFlytek Co., Ltd., Xiaoyi has been designed to process patient information. The robot has now become a licensed medical practitioner, raising questions about the future of Chinese AI technology.
Xiaoyi shows a potential for an automated healthcare system. Local newspaper Chinese Daily has reported the country’s willingness to integrate AI into various industries, and hopes to lead the world in AI research by 2030.
iFlytek plans to have Xiaoyi assist human doctors in order to improve their efficiency in future treatments. “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,” iFlytek chairman Liu Qingfeng told China Daily.
“General practitioners are in severe shortage in China’s rural areas. We hope AI can help more people access quality medical resource,” Qingfeng added.
This development sheds further light on the future of automation in a world where concerns of machines replacing humans are growing. While companies like iFlytek may not intend to replace humans just yet, automation may become a cost-effective solution in the near future, as well as a more superior and accessible way to provide healthcare and other services to the public.