Microsoft Examines Causes of ‘Cyberchondria’

28 Nov

A new survey from Microsoft  suggests that self-diagnosis by search engine frequently leads Web searchers to conclude the worst about what ails them. John Markoff reported on the study in the November 25 issue of The New York Times.    Microsoft's goal is to position its search service as a reliable health advisor.  According to Ryen White and Eric Horvitz, the AI researchers who conducted the research, "directly tackling cyberchondria is an opportunity to leverage readily-available expertise in the information-retrieval and medical informatics communities in areas such as document ranking, user modeling, machine learning, and user interface design for the direct benefit of the many people turning to the Web to interpret common medical symptoms."   

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