The ethical considerations of using AI in healthcare- Part 2

This is a follow up on yesterday’s take on the ethical issues. Dr. Bryan’s observations, first:

And instead of turning all aspects of appendicitis care over to intelligent machines, we’re working with them in a kind of partnership.

Even as doctors we don’t always realize when it’s happening.This is best reflected in the difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligence augmentation (IA).

In the simplest sense AI looks to effectively replace us while IA looks to complement us. Think of IA as machines helping us to be better versions of ourselves. Clinically, at least.

A good example is IBM Watson as that friend on our shoulder giving us a nudge one way or another

Should Patients Consent for Use of Artificial Intelligence? – 33 Charts

I have my reservations about IBM Watson- there’s nothing intelligent about it. It is the dumbest idea to invest in it.

Intelligence augmentation is semantics. I wouldn’t delude myself to believe that “machines” would be happy to “assist”- I foresee that something would replace them with “better”. Ethical considerations aside, if the hospitals see a “cost savings”, they would be happy to extend it to “customers”.

This besides, should the doctors reveal that they base their assessment on IBM Watson? I feel that this augmentation is unnecessary. Marketing cannot replace a well thought out structured discussion in a tumour board. We decide with a careful consideration of unknowns that come with intuition. Something that none of the machines (or the systems) can replace.