Healthbase is a new internet tool associated with NetBase solutions. It's a medical search engine of sorts. It's developers brag that it uses highly developed software with "content intelligence" to search "millions of authoritative health sources" for definitive answers about medical conditions for you. You type in the condition you are interested in, then click on tabs for treatment, causes, pros and cons of treatment, and complications to get information about that condition.
Here's how TechCrunch relayed HealthBase's claims about the sophistication of its search engine:
NetBase takes a sophisticated linguistic approach, actually diagramming sentences to determine the relationship between words and phrases. It does particularly well with causal relationships, allowing it to tease out cause and effect from raw text. For instance, in the sentence, “The calcium, potassium and magnesium found in yogurt can help reduce your risk for hypertension often resulting from stress, obesity, and other factors” NetBase can identify that “stress” and “obesity” are causes of hypertension and that “calcium,” “potassium,” “magnesium,” and “yogurt” can be used to counter hypertension.
This is the internet. People only use search engines for good, and everyone is reliably mature. What could go wrong?
Well . . .
It turns out that HealthBase's extremely intelligent "semantic search engine" has some odd ideas about causality when you type in anything unexpected. And even when you type in some things that it ought to expect.
For example, by using HealthBase, you can determine that:
1. "Obama" should be treated with jellyfish collagen and elections, is caused by Adolf, and has ruined NASCAR;
2. "Jews" should be treated with Dr. Pepper, though this treatment may cause them to kill Christians and attack Jesus;
3. The benefits of treating "crazy" are defeating evil mistresses, but the cons are becoming a horse thief;
4. "Democracy" is caused by Vladmir Putin;
5. My depression may be caused by prolonged IV infusion, can be treated by female salmon at the risk of economic collapse, and
6. The benefits of treating your wife are bringing Asian blood and providing an interactive brain, but the cons are STDs and sperm. I think I knew that one already.
Via Fark, and Via.
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