Baidu Debuts "Melody", A Smart Healthcare Chatbot

Baidu Melody in Action part 1.0.0

The Chinese tech giant Baidu has recently been investing in pretty much every branch of the tech industry, from smartwatch operating systems to self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. Regarding the latter, the company has just announced the immediate launch of Melody, an AI conversational bot app designed to help doctors collect information from patients regarding their various medical conditions. More specifically, Melody’s main purpose is to chat with patients who are experiencing health issues then relaying that information to doctors in a way that’s that’s more convenient to use for the purposes of diagnosing specific conditions. It’s convenient to use, it saves time, and it’s free, so Chinese industry experts are predicting that this app will have a bright future ahead of it.

In addition to all of the features mentioned above, it’s worth noting that Melody isn’t just an AI chatbot, it’s an AI chatbot connected to neural networks which means that it’s capable of deep learning and gradually becoming better at providing useful medical information to doctors. The app also integrates with the Baidu Doctor app which the company introduced last year as simple means of communication between doctors and patients. Furthermore, Melody is capable of having contextual conversations with people, not unlike the recently introduced Google Assistant is. Baidu sees Melody as another step towards its ultimate goal of transforming and modernizing the healthcare industry. The company stated that people are bound to be more comfortable chatting about their medical history with a friendly bot than strangers and the added anonymity of this interaction is also bound to help them relax and focus on providing accurate answers which Melody can then interpret.

Of course, the app is currently only available in China and its creators currently have no plans of bringing it to the West despite showcasing an English prototype which you can see above. The main issue with potential localization lies in the fact that Melody’s learning abilities are heavily reliant on recognizing speech patterns and Baidu simply doesn’t have enough data to produce a competent English version of the app, at least not yet. Naturally, given how Melody relies on the Baidu Doctor app to communicate with healthcare professionals, the Chinese company will first have to localize its 2015 app before Melody has any chance of making her way to the West.