Nvidia announces AI-powered “agents” to replace nurses in hospitals

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Photo by NVIDIA via YouTube / Futurism

As we live in a dystopian healthcare hell, AI chip maker Nvidia has announced a partnership with an AI project called Hippocratic AI to replace nurses with strange AI “agents.”

These fake nursing robots cost hospitals and other health providers $9 an hour, a fee that barely exceeds the U.S. minimum hourly wage, and far less than the average hourly wage of registered nurses (RNs).

In a press release, Hippocratic AI described troubling understaffing nurses as part of an effort to reduce staffing issues. The company also claims that the agents will not be performing any diagnostic work, and will instead perform “low-risk,” “patient-facing” tasks that can be done via video call.

Nvidia showed what such a call might look like in a demo video in which a highly human-like AI “nurse” checks in with a post-appendectomy patient, offering aftercare advice. And answers questions about whether certain antibiotics are safe for patients who say they are allergic to penicillin and diabetics to take. Exchange goes swimmingly, as controlled, advertised demos usually do. Hippocratic AI also claims that according to its own research, AI agents generally outperform their human counterparts in most categories.

But all that said, is giving medical instructions to a hospital patient really a “low risk” order? It’s hard to believe that bottling nursing tasks before and after care into what looks like a fancy customer service chatbot is the right, ethical answer to the nursing crisis that Hippocratic AI defines as its technology. does.

What’s more, public health experts and RNs themselves say that the nurse staffing crisis — which has historically resulted in major nursing strikes in the past few years — isn’t the result of sky-high nursing salaries that are a quick automation fix. Begging, but instead hospital cost-cutting leads to substandard working conditions, unfair contracts, and low wages.

Janet Dill, professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota, said labor is the primary cost in health care, so how do you make money? CNN Last January amid major nursing strikes in New York City. “Your nursing workforce is your largest workforce.”

Hippocratic AI’s marketing for its fictional nurses also appears to grossly misrepresent the average nurse salary. On its website, AI Ventures claims that based on survey data From 2017, the average “all-in” cost of a “permanent, full-time” RN is about $90 an hour – a number that would mean a nurse making over $180,000 a year before taxes. (You know, because RNs famously make six figures.)

But the way Futurism Sister site Popular Science Tellingly, a recent survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics put the average RN salary at $38.74 per hour for 2022, which would drop to less than $80,000 – a full hundred grand or less than the Hippocratic AI estimate! – a year.

“With generative AI, the incremental cost of healthcare access and interventions is going to zero,” the Hippocratic AI website adds, arguing that the demands and shortages of healthcare staff Language models are “the only scalable way” to bridge the gap between “manpower supply”. “Sure

Look at the hospital are There is a shortage of staff, and their shortage affects patient care. But the idea that nursing’s six-figure salaries are to blame — as opposed to a generally broken health care system — is deeply flawed. And by and large, when it comes to AI “agents” doing bare-bones jobs, we’d all be better off just calling them what they are: a cheap way to automate labor that a company or organization already does. Didn’t want to pay. of the

More on AI and healthcare: Doctors are using AI to automatically create clinical notes on patients.

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