Vinod Khosla: Doctors cannot compete with machines
Posted at 23:59h, 27 May 2014 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

We nearly entitled today’s newsletter, ‘Is Silicon Valley Making Itself Irrelevant?’ but benefit of the doubt to the population out there at large.

Doctors cannot compete with machines,” contends Silicon Valley uber investor Vinod Khosla. He’s talking Big Data. Medicine may not be an exact science, and it certainly has its problems, most notably, the pharmaceutical industry and that’s as far as we’re going down that rabbit hole today. But technology is not as sophisticated as it needs to be for us to allow ourselves to be diagonsed by Big Data. Nor is it secure enough – nor can we trust Big Government. It’s a dangerous road to take, given the number of hacks we see, even in something as simple as online transaction, and what if this happened in the health care system? Not if, when. Ever deal with an automated help line, even when a simple mistake was made? Imagine if your health data is compromised. One word: heatbleed.

Equally importantly, who’s then in charge? The titans of Silicon Valley? We are unfortunately personally plagued with both a science background and an excellent memory. One of Mr. Khosla’s investments was in a company called Unreal Candy, a ‘healthy’ version of confections. They may be 100% ‘real,’ but healthy – far from it. And we defy you to find nutritional information or nutritional comparisons to their so-called unhealthy competition on their site. They also claim to be low glycemic yet their products contain cane sugar, too, which is not low glycemic – and there’s still no such thing as being a little bit pregnant. Bill Gates endorses the brand, but then, he’s an investor. And is as clueless about food science as is Khosla.

These are the people who are out to disrupt food. Our problem with it is that so little is really known about food and nutrition – and the biology of food. Their money would be better spent there and let’s be honest: people don’t trust lab-grown food, which, let’s face it, is Frankenfood by any other name.

We know that tech is eating the world, but this time, they’re attempting to bite off more than they can chew. Given d) all of the above, it seems that the titans are not so much out to make a difference: at this point, they’re just out to make a buck. Onward and forward.