After IBM’s Watson won on Jeopardy, the question was bound to come up: Will artificial intelligence replace doctors? Dr.Robert M. Wachter, MD, Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine and Chair, Department of Medicine, at University of California, San Francisco, and author of New York Times bestseller The Digital Doctor, is answering this question at The Doctors Company’s 2016 Executive Advisory Board.
“The question comes up all the time whether artificial intelligence will replace physicians. How could that question not come up after you watched Watson beat the Jeopardy champions or see driverless cars.
My own sense is that artificial intelligence will augment the work of doctors particularly in the next 5-10 years.
I think the examples here are me seeing a patient putting down the chief complain and a few key findings and I think we will have computer systems that say here are four or five potential diagnoses.
I think that’ll be very helpful so I think it’ll be much more supportive than replacement at least in the next 10 or 15 years.
The fields that I do think may be at risk of replacement not in five years but may be in 15.
Our fields that are relying visual pattern recognition like radiology pathology and dermatology but for the vast majority of physicians.
I think artificial intelligence will be helpful but won’t put us out of jobs.”