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One of the world's first robot doctors has passed its medical exams with flying colours, it emerged.
Xiao Yi was put through his paces in the test with his human counterparts and showed he had "mastered" the skills for the job.
Researchers got him ready for his big day by inputting knowledge from dozens of medical books over the past year.
But rather than just spit it back out it in the exam he also had to show a "reasoning process" for treating a given symptom. "Its score is 96 points above the acceptance line," said Wu Ji, deputy boss of its electronic engineering department. "This shows that it has indeed mastered the medical knowledge and clinical knowledge, and it has owned the basic ability to employ the knowledge to solve some problems," he added.
Wu said Xiao Yi sat his exam in a separate room to his human candidates, while nearly 10 staff members had to prepare his special test. "We made an electronic edition of the test paper for it, with the content same as the paper edition," said a worker at the National Medical Examination Center.
Xiao Yi showed that he could beat his flesh and bone counterparts with knowledge. "We should say that robots are superior to people in memory, or storage capacity and computing ability," said Wu.
But he added that he also showed a human approach when it came to treating sick people. "Quite a few questions are case analyses, that is, you are informed the basic conditions of some patients and some of their symptoms, then you have to tell what disease it is, what treatment should be adopted or what medicine they should take. "Many are questions like this. Such complicated questions cannot be answered only by searching. "Therefore, it is essentially a reasoning process based on knowledge and probability model," said Wu.