Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Armed with an overwhelming accumulation of data about disease, how can we ensure that they will all be employed effectively to make a correct diagnosis in a particular patient? The use of electronic computers can be of some help in the collation, correlation, storage, and communication of the accumulated information, but we must be careful in instructing the machinery so we will not one day find a monster whose behavior is unpredictable. A reasonable procedure would be to analyse our own thought processes carefully to ascertain how the human diagnostician arrives at his conclusions. The matter is certainly not settled but the concepts of state spaces and the theory of credences seem to form a plausible "first model" of the human inference maker at work making medical diagnoses. It is hoped that a wider appreciation of these ideas will lead to the construction of better models that could enable the great potential of the "computer age" to have its full impact upon medical care.
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