Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: “Am I a real Boy?”

United Nations Robot Sophia 2018

UN Photo/Manuel Elias Sophia, a humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics, participates in a meeting at UN Headquarters on “The Future of Everything – Sustainable Development in the Age of Rapid Technological Change.”

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Ahmed Rafay Afzal, a medical student from King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan, currently pursuing a career in United States. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In the long forgotten lores of eastern medicine, the doctors were called “Hakeem”. I happen to be a descendant of one of those hakeems. The word “Hakeem” comes from the Arabic word “Hikmat” which means wisdom or all-knowing. Unfortunately, I a doctor of real medicine, do not enjoy that status anymore as compared to my great-great-grandfather who was a “Hakeem”.

Today whenever I interact with patients more often than not I encounter questions like, “I read about this on the web…”, “I hear what you are saying but I think you’re wrong because medscape says otherwise…”, “I googled my symptoms and I think I have cancer…”

The point being that the state of medicine has transformed from witchcraft to  scribbled prescriptions to Electronic Health Records. We have made giant leaps forward. We used to develop medical protocols keeping general principles and populations in mind, but with the advent of digital health, precision medicine has been making the rounds.

All this happens by the magic of Artificial Intelligence, which makes the patient the point of importance, creates a large amount of statistical data about an individual and gives medical professionals tools to sort through and analyze that data.

With such huge amounts of data it has almost become impossible for a physician to analyze it. This is where machine learning comes into play, although not objectively artificial intelligence, machine learning is the still the biggest arsenal available for the physicians who are embracing the new onslaught of technology in the medical field.

National Institute of Health defines precision medicine as an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person.1 This approach involves algorithms which use supercomputers to mine data with the help of machine learning and deep learning. These algorithms can not only generate patterns which physicians can use in their practice they have also been applied in making diagnosis almost as accurately as doctors in the field of cardiac sciences.2

Same goes for radiology where machine learning algorithms can accurately pick out pathologies in radiological scans. When combined with the results of a pathologist the success rate increased upto 99.5%.3 Machine learning softwares have been written that help record the patient-doctor encounter, hence reducing the workload of the physician by writing his notes for him.With the current status quo of machine learning it might not be sufficient to replace a physician but there is enough evidence to argue that machine learning can definitely supplement a physician even in its current relatively untested phase.

It’s not all good news however, A.I. has its technological and medical limitations. A computer cannot do a physical exam, it doesn’t have the cognitive ability of a physician, it doesn’t have compassion and it can’t feel for the patient. There is also an ethical consideration to be made. Just like humans, A.I. is also flawed, who is to blame when the A.I. makes a wrong decision regarding patient care. Would the society ever entrust a machine to deal with the intricate details of health records including sensitive data e.g sexual history or HIV status?

Would a human ever be comfortable giving a medical history to a machine? Is there a place for replicating empathy in healthcare? How would the paradigm of human-machine interactions work in healthcare setting and what laws would govern that interaction? These are just a few of the questions that we haven’t answered yet. Even though in other industries the use of A.I. like for example in autonomous cars, where Rogers K. Germany has developed the first ethical guidelines for driverless cars.4

There is also another issue with misconceptions and over-exaggerations about the potential of A.I. Artificial Intelligence is revolutionary, no doubt, but its not the answer to every problem that we have in healthcare.

However one thing is for sure Artificial Intelligence will not replace physicians, however, physicians who employ A.I. will replace those who don’t.

References:

1.(Collins F Precision Medicine Initiative | National Institutes of Health (NIH) [Internet]. National Institutes of Health. 2015. Accessed online on the 25th of April, 2018 from:https://www.nih.gov/precision-medicine-initiative-cohort-program)

2.Luo G, Sun G, Wang K, et al. A novel left ventricular volumes prediction method based on deep learning network in cardiac MRI. Comput Cardiol [Internet]. 2010;2017:2–5. Available from:

http://www.cinc.org/archives/2016/pdf/028-224.pdf

3.Wang D, Khosla A, Gargeya R, et al. Deep learning for identifying metastatic breast cancer. eprint arXiv:1606.05718, Publication Date:06/2016. [Google Scholar]

4Available from:https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/599wnz/germany-has-created-the-worlds-first-ethical-guidelines-for-driverless-cars [Google Scholar]

About the author

Ahmed Rafay Afzal is a medical student from King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan, currently pursuing a career in United States. His primary field of interest is pediatrics. His current focus is research in pediatric Gastroenterology and on revamping the healthcare system of Pakistan with introduction of digital technology.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

We need to talk about how we define responsibility online – and how we enforce it

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Modern society has reached its limits. Society 5.0 will liberate us

Artificial Intelligence has a gender problem. Here’s what to do about it

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

“The Sea is vast as it admits all rivers”, Ambassador Yang Yanyi of the Chinese Mission to EU gives her farewell address in Brussels

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

Fragile countries risk being ‘stuck in a cycle of conflict and climate disaster,’ Security Council told

US-China trade war: Washington now wants control of the renminbi-yuan

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

Will Eurozone be able to repay its debts? Is a bubble forming there?

EU readies for eventual annulment of the Turkish agreement on immigrants-refugees

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

2016 crisis update: the year of the Red Fire Monkey burns the world’s markets down

2030 development agenda: Major breakthrough for world of work

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Somalia has ‘once in a generation’ gender equality opportunity – UN Women chief

A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

EU Commission: Banking and energy conglomerates don’t threaten competition!

THE ROAD TO GANESHA

Italy can stand the US rating agencies’ meaningless degrading

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

To win combat against HIV worldwide, ‘knowledge is power’, says UNAIDS report

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

Measuring consumer confidence isn’t useful anymore. Here’s what we should do instead

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

How can we build a workforce for our digital future?

Environment Committee MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

Economy on a steady rise in Latin America and Caribbean region ‘despite international turbulence’ – UN report

Dramatic funding shortages a ‘severe catastrophe’ for people of Gaza: UN Coordinator

Frontline workers vaccinated in Uganda over Ebola fears, as top UN officials visit outbreak epicentre in DR Congo

Millions more migrant workers, means countries lose ‘most productive part’ of workforce

Girls groomed for suicide missions fight back against the extremists of Lake Chad

India’s economy is an ‘elephant that is starting to run’, according to the IMF

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Berlin favours economic and social disintegration in certain Eurozone countries

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

“Prevention is better than cure”: the main goal of modern medicine

More than 90% of the world’s children are breathing toxic air

Infrastructure around the world is failing. Here’s how to make it more resilient

Commission launches new tool to support digital teaching and learning in schools

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] In the long forgotten lores of eastern medicine, the doctors were called “Hakeem”. This is where machine learning comes into play, although not objectively artificial intelligence, machine learning is the still the biggest arsenal available for the physicians who are embracing the new onslaught of technology in the medical field. Read More […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s