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

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

EU Border and Coast Guard: new corps of 10 000 border and coast guards by 2027

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

These countries have the best work-life balance

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

The role companies play in boosting growth in emerging markets

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

OECD warns global economy remains weak as subdued trade drags down growth

UN welcomes ‘most comprehensive agreement ever’ on global health

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Women in peacekeeping, the arrest of Sudan’s leader, updates on Libya, Nigeria and Syria

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Ebola fight ongoing amid evidence of ‘several massacres’ in DR Congo’s Ituri province

What the future of trust looks like

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

First 17 “European Universities” selected: a major step towards building a European Education Area

The Catcher in the Rice

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

US-EU trade war: Berlin fearful of the second round

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Malaysia has achieved high levels of growth, but must do more to address governance and social challenges

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

The number of internally displaced people is at a record high. Here’s why

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

World’s human rights watchdog spotlights Afghanistan, Yemen and 12 others: Here’s the scoop

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

Daughter of 2019 Sakharov Prize winner Ilham Tohti receives prize on his behalf

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

In polarized America, a new divide looms

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