Design Fiction

Imagining Implications of Upcoming Technology
Course Discovery and Invention
Timeline 3 weeks (Spring 2014)

IBM envisions a new role for its Jeopardy Champion: a revolutionary medical aid. This project looks at the upcoming technology’s possibilities through critical design fiction.


IBM is developing a Watson-powered medical application that intakes patient symptoms and looks through thousands of medical journals to provide possible diagnoses.

IBM’s argument for this revolutionary software is that “a doctor can’t know everything.” I extend that argument by saying a doctor can’t experience everything.


Imagine a network connecting primary care physicians and specialists in real-time.

The Watson Medical Unit parses through the patient report and analyzes it with thousands of medical journal articles give top possible diagnosis. There is an option to contact online specialist for each particular case.


Specialists can advise primary care physicians worldwide. Given the amount of traffic the service platform generates, the specialists’ commissions can equal the average doctor’s salary. Since specialists don’t need offices, they may be pregnant mothers, doctors in remote areas, retired consultants, etc.

With such a service, general practitioners can provide more tailored care leveraging specialists’ knowledge. This service design fiction advocates a future where practitioners and technology seamlessly cooperate.