Not trying to antagonize you as I agree with you regarding the processing of data, but lets consider a few situations:
Patients who are malingering or hypochondriacs. They could be well versed with certain symptoms and provide the computer data that could be consistent with the diagnosis of their choosing.
That's a good question
But what if in the future there is a very reliable scientific method to determine whether someone is making shite up or whether they're being truthful. Sure you could say that a hypochondriac doesn't know if they're lying themselves but what if the machine did?
What if using advanced bio sensing methods, you could deduce things about the patient to see if what they were saying was true?
Patients with psychiatric problems that can for the most part only be diagnosed by gathering subjective data.
It seems that way doesn't it? But what if the data is really objective and it's just far too complicated for humans to comprehend?
True real life example to demonstrate: the homeless male who presented to the ER during my 3rd year of medical school shortly after the Christmas holidays who was threatening to kill himself.
Issues: the homeless are known to have a higher incidence of mental health disorders, the holidays are notorious for higher rates of suicide.
I walked in and preceded to ask him what his plan was to kill himself. After a few pensive seconds he looked up at me and states that he want to use the oxygen tubing (while pointing across the room to it) to hang himself.
The ER resident I discussed the case with quickly informs me that this was pretty common behavior amongst homeless patients in the winter to punch their ticket for a free meal and night or 2 stay in a warm bed in the hospital.
I am not sure how a computer could reconcile these scenarios better than a human clinically.
Why are you assuming that a machine couldn't consume such info?
All you have to do is tell it.
Not to mention your real life story was rather anti-climatic. I was honestly expecting to hear some story of human triumph where you saved someone's life using your brilliant instinctual skills. Rather the only thing you did was figure out that some homeless guy was trying to get a couple of square meals by acting suicidal.
Yay, you solved nothing other than depriving a homeless guy of some food.
A more important frontier in my mind is disease prevention by better understanding / manipulation of the human genome. This is a cleaner point to intervene with technology than trying to find and solve problems on the back end in humans.
If computing power does evolve to the level you describe, they just might come to the conclusion that we are are not worth the effort of helping (ironically in much the same way intellectuals have no real use for God).
At the end of the day they're still machines driven by mathematics and logic.
You can have a machine like Watson that "learns" things but it's unlikely that they'll evolve to the point where they start making their own decisions and claiming we aren't helping.
And if that's the case, you just throw the fricking computer into the volcano thing in mordor and you use the previous version as your consultant.
It isn't rocket surgery