How AI is going to take over the world has made the topic of very interesting debates all over the internet and most people don’t really know what to think when it comes to medical doctors and the impact of AI on their work. There are a lot of fields that will be changed over time due to the help of AI and medicine is one of them.

There are many reasons why some professionals are scared about losing their jobs. Many of them think that biomedical professionals will not be the ones using medical instruments like those advertised on Optics & Lab and that they will be replaced by AI. However, there are many aspects to the matter and we will cover some of them in this article.

The importance of empathy

The way people view what happens when they go to the physician’s office or when they access areas of the healthcare system like surgery or recovery from trauma very much relies on how they feel when they are accessing these treatment options. Or, better said, how the MD makes them feel.

If you have some knowledge about the patient’s experience you know that everything matters, even the way that the hospital smells. The first and most important thing that the patient will look for is the reassurance that the medical doctor who they talk to really cares about them.

You might think this is silly and that MDs have so many patients and it is absurd to think that they can care about every one of them. However, people trust those who care about them because this is the first indicator that they are going to do everything in their power to make them well again.

If you don’t care about something or someone, your interest in solving the problems related to them is diminished. So is it possible to make a robot experience empathy? As far as science has currently evolved, this is impossible. Even if you could, how would you gain the trust of a patient?

How can a patient be positive that the robot that treats them has the ability to be empathetic? These are some things that should be considered by the people who are working in developing AI for the medical field and this is why MDs are not replaceable, because they are human and can feel empathy.

The future is about collaboration, not finding a replacement

It is true that using AI in the medical field comes with a lot of benefits that will help scientists and medical doctors evolve and develop new strategies in curing diseases. However, the fact that most people think of it as AI replacing medical doctors simply does not stand. Firstly because of what we have discussed about the empathy factor.

Secondly, because scientists did not develop AI to replace anybody, but to make their work more efficient. That’s right, there is no conspiracy that wants to get rid of people and leave them without a job, and so far, AI has been used to complement the work of medical professionals in order for them to get better results.

There is no need to say that maybe, over time, people will learn to trust AI and maybe the approach and the perspective about empathy will be changed over time, but that will not happen in an instant, and AI will always be controlled by humans, so the chances of it taking over the world are minuscule.

Therefore, as far as research goes, we don’t need to worry about AI replacing health professionals. It is true that some fields will be automated, but that will only give MDs the opportunity to invest their energy in something more useful and become even better at what they do.