Have Health Questions? Ask S.A.R.A.H., an AI Health Assistant

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April 10, 2024 – Bought well being questions on consuming proper, coping with stress, or methods to quit smoking? You’ll be able to ask S.A.R.A.H., and she or he’ll reply again.

S.A.R.A.H. is a brand new interactive synthetic intelligence useful resource from the World Well being Group. S.A.R.A.H. can even present info on psychological well being, most cancers, coronary heart illness, lung illness, and diabetes. 

I requested, “What’s a wholesome weight for man who’s 5 ft 10 inches tall?”

“The best weight for a person who’s 5 ft 10 varies, relying on elements equivalent to age, muscle mass, and general well being,” S.A.R.A.H. mentioned. “It’s vital to concentrate on sustaining a wholesome way of life relatively than a selected quantity on a scale.” She then provided assets for weight administration.

S.A.R.A.H., which stands for Sensible AI Useful resource Assistant for Well being, replaces an earlier model. Florence was designed to reply COVID-19 questions and dispel myths about vaccination. Florence was skilled on a restricted well being database, however S.A.R.A.H. makes use of Open AI’s GPT (generative pretrained transformer) giant language mannequin to reply a wider vary of well being questions.

The well being assistant speaks many languages and is designed to be as culturally delicate and freed from bias as attainable. “Addressing cultural and well being literacy variations globally is essential for S.A.R.A.H.’s long-term success,” mentioned Katerina Botsiou, a communications marketing consultant at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

S.A.R.A.H. can communicate eight languages and is “thus extra accessible to various populations.” The know-how is skilled on knowledge from the World Well being Group and trusted companions “to make sure culturally delicate outputs,” Botsiou mentioned. 

Giving AI a persona that may present emotion is a giant advance, in comparison with a text-only chatbot, mentioned Brian Anderson, MD, CEO of the Coalition for Well being AI (CHAI). The coalition is a group of AI stakeholders who work to assist others develop secure and efficient makes use of of AI in well being care.

“Aesthetically, [S.A.R.A.H.] is participating. The flexibility to show a human face and the mannerisms … is actually compelling,” he mentioned. The know-how offers each visible and non-visual cues that emulate human dialog, he mentioned. It additionally helps that S.A.R.A.H. meets folks the place they’re in phrases language, tradition, and schooling stage.

S.A.R.A.H. seems as a lady in her late 20s with brown eyes, brown hair pulled again, and carrying a blue T-shirt. Her facial expressions change as you “speak” along with her, her pores and skin exhibits wrinkles, and her eyes blink. She additionally seems to sway, as if shifting her weight from one foot to the opposite. 

 “As long as the best way that the AI is used to is to assist a person navigate a posh well being query, that is an exquisite factor,” mentioned Anderson, who was not concerned in growing S.A.R.A.H.

S.A.R.A.H. is obtainable 24/7. So when she affords recommendation on getting a great evening’s sleep, it’s extra “Do as I say” than “Do as I do.” 

There have been some challenges in growing the know-how, Botsiou mentioned. They adjusted AI algorithms to make her extra correct, guarantee her knowledge was stable, and to take care of sturdy knowledge privateness and safety measures.

Spectacular because the know-how is, some facial expressions and pauses within the dialog function a reminder that S.A.R.A.H. is a piece in progress. There is a vital disclosure on the S.A.R.A.H. web site that the data might not at all times be correct. It stays to be seen whether or not the solutions she offers might be dependable and could be reproduced, Anderson mentioned. 

The know-how relies on generative AI, so it would be taught and evolve over time. 

WHO didn’t go it alone. It partnered with a tech firm referred to as Soul Machines Restricted and a inventive firm referred to as Rooftop to develop S.A.R.A.H. and supply “genuine, human-like responses.” WHO plans to maintain an in depth eye on S.A.R.A.H., issuing common updates to maintain the know-how clear, accountable, and moral. 

Go to the World Well being Group Meet S.A.R.A.H. website and switch in your system’s microphone and speaker to offer S.A.R.A.H. a strive. 



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