The Future of Medicine?

One of the many places you might encounter artificial intelligence is at the doctor’s office. Some doctors and healthcare professionals are using AI algorithms to rapidly scan medical files, notice irregularities like tumors, and even make diagnoses. There are already hopeful signs of using AI to detect Alzheimer’s, a notoriously hard-to-diagnose condition. Typically doctors examine medical records and try to collect observations about the patient, both of which an AI can do at rapid speeds. A device designed by MIT is currently being tested here in Boston at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

As exciting as these developments are, skeptics are raising another question:Is it ethical? Artificial intelligence and machine learning currently serve an advisory role in healthcare. What happens when they make decisions that affect a patient? If AI makes treatment decisions on its own, even life-or-death ones, how do we prevent malfunction? The medical applications of AI are one of the many topics we consider when we discuss AI ethics. AIWS is working with the tech industry as well as healthcare professionals, including Dr. David Silbersweig of McLean and Beth Israel Hospitals and a member of our Board of Thinkers.