Letters The computer will assess you now

The computer may be assessing you now, but who decided its values?

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6169 (Published 21 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6169
  1. Paul K Hodgkin, founder of Patient Opinion, retired GP, and freelance consultant
  1. Hadleigh IP7 6DF, UK
  1. paul.hodgkin9{at}gmail.com

Machine learning holds great promise for medicine,1 but to assess its reliability we need to know what goals the machines have been directed to fulfil and whose values they represent. As Tim O’Reilly (originator of the term “web 2.0”) said in a recent blog, “Understanding how to evaluate algorithms without knowing the exact rules they follow is a …

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