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Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

When everyday people think of AI systems, they imagine futuristic robots that walk, talk, and maybe even chauffeur us around. However, artificial intelligence is not a mysterious possibility in the distant future, but a very present reality. Highly intelligent computers/robots that were once only found in myth, fantasy, and fiction can now be operated by anyone with a smartphone.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the computer science development of machines that can think and perform tasks like humans. Today, artificial intelligence is already being utilized in everyday households through Siri, Alexa, Google, etc. These highly intelligent technologies are not only seen in homes and businesses, but also in the medical field to make discoveries and advance treatments.

In medicine, AI systems are projected to save $16 billion in cancer research by using analytical data to help predict which combinations of drugs and dosages will most benefit a patient. These computer systems have the ability to process and analyze large amounts of data, way faster than even the most gifted statistician. Thereby, diagnostic and treatment recommendations to patients can only take seconds as opposed to weeks from human clinicians.

Artificial intelligence is assisting doctors; however, there is a concern that future medical professionals will simply be operating machines instead of actually caring for patients. This can be seen in the surgeons at the National Medical Center in Washington who successfully built a robot that can perform surgery while the doctors only needed to supervise. This is the fear of using advanced AI in medical treatments: patients interacting with computer screens instead of connecting with empathetic physicians.

Humans are in control of the planet because we are the smartest. However, if we develop AI systems that are more intelligent that humans, then will we still remain in control? The advancements in technology is a double-edged sword that can either help humanity flourish, or self-destruct. We are likely to encounter many ethical, medical, occupational and technological changes with AI in healthcare; therefore, it is important that regulations are made to limit any negative implications of the curious human mind.

1 Peter 4:10 – ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’

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