The Fall of Babylon Is a Warning for AI Unicorns

In late 2016, Hugh Harvey was working as a consultant doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. Harvey had dabbled in machine learning while doing a research degree, and had seen the potential for artificial intelligence to revolutionize health care. But he felt strongly that the introduction of AI into medicine was not going to come from within the NHS—it was going to come from industry. So when an opportunity opened up at a buzzy new health-tech startup, Babylon Health, he applied.

Founded in London in 2013 by Ali Parsa, a British-Iranian ex-banker, Babylon had a lofty goal: It wanted to do with health care what Google did with information;

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