Paper Review: the Babylon Chatbot

…it is fantastic that Babylon has undertaken this evaluation, and has sought to present it in public via this conference paper. They are to be applauded for that. One of the benefits of going public is that we can now provide feedback on the study’s strength and weaknesses.

Source: Coiera, E. (2018). Paper Review: the Babylon Chatbot.

There’s been a lot of coverage of Babylon Health recently, with the associated controversy around what this might mean for GPs and patients. However, what might be even more interesting than the claim that a chatbot could replace a GP, is the fact that Babylon is one of the few companies that have published some of their work openly. This is quite unusual in an industry where startups are reluctant to share their methods for fear of exposing their “secret sauce”. But, as the open review by Enrico Coiera demonstrates, publication of methods for peer review and scientific scrutiny is an essential aspect of moving the field of clinical AI forward.