OpenAI’s ChatGPT took the world by storm a couple of months ago when they opened it up for public use. Since then, people have shown the infinite number of ways it can be applied in just about every area of life, from telling you the recipe for your favorite food to writing scientific abstracts that are essentially indistinguishable from real ones.
It offers insights and ideas to abstract questions and truly shows that AI has a place in the future. I asked ChatGPT what it thought the future and limitations of AI would be in medicine, and here is what it told me:
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the field of medicine by improving the speed, accuracy, and accessibility of diagnostics and treatment. Applications include the use of machine learning algorithms for medical imaging, AI-assisted surgery, and management of chronic diseases. However, limitations such as the cost of implementation, biases in the data and the importance of human doctors in the medical process should be considered. With careful consideration and implementation, AI has the potential to improve patient outcomes and make health care more effective and efficient for everyone.
I would say that it is spot on in its assessment. In fact, I am not sure if I could say it any better. All joking aside, AI in the hands of physicians has the power to change the way we deliver care to patients as well as help us understand and interpret the seemingly endless number of data points we must analyze, from a patient’s history all the way to the most obscure labs and imaging findings. The human brain is a marvelous organ, but it has its limitations.
So are we all going to be out of jobs soon? No. Delivering care to patients and making life-and-death decisions is not something that can ever be left to an AI because it does not “think,” “understand,” or truly “analyze.” However, that does not mean AI does not belong in the field of medicine. If AI is used by physicians as one extra tool and not as an outright guide to patient care, AI can be safely and effectively used in the field of medicine much more than it is currently being used. I know that many of you are thinking that we are far from being able to use AI in the clinical setting, and if you had asked me before I tried out ChatGPT, I would have probably agreed. My experience over the last couple of months has completely changed my mind.
Being in my fourth year of medical school, I can say that when ChatGPT came out, I had a little extra time on my hands. Outside of doing residency interviews for internal medicine, I was not all that busy, so I decided why not integrate ChatGPT’s breadth of “knowledge” into an app that could help medical students or anyone in health care learn or practice their skills. Based on that idea, I developed an app using ChatGPT. AI as a tool in clinical medicine is right around the corner. The future of medicine is already here.
Yousuf Shah is a medical student.