In 1960s there were elevator operators who would open and close the doors, announce what was on each floor, and control all the mechanics of the elevator (1). Now every elevator has buttons and you can get to the floor you want without the help of someone. Elevator operators are no longer a common profession, but we now have many more elevators who need mechanics and engineers, which are much higher paying jobs.
When everything is very convenient in your everyday life it becomes the norm and we expect things to “just work.” All the technological advances of recent years make us believe that a better level of service is possible as well in one of the most important industries – health care. AI could really help healthcare; however, it has a tough time getting accepted by a lot of people in the industry. One of key factors is the medical school costs. Medical students are signing up for hundreds of thousands of dollar loans and the thought of their replacement by AI is frightening. Of course it is scary to think that the four to seven year education could all be taken away with a rapid technological shift.
There is a legitimate concern that AI will perform some functions more precise than humans; however, it is doubtful that it will be able to replace the personal contact doctors establish with their patients. Instead of worrying the medical society should benefit from AI help. There are many advantages of including AI solutions: they do not have high operating costs, they tend not to get tired or forget things, and that there is no long waiting lists as they are easy to access (2). AI should not be considered competitors, but instead assistants. They should help doctors by providing round the clock patient observations, helping in medical documentation, and provide precise analysis. With the help of AI the doctors can liberate their time spending in front of computer screens and devote it to the live interaction with the patients instead (3).
As history has shown time and time again, automation of certain processes will make our work more productive and increase the amount of patient interactions. In the end it will be type of service that people will expect and enjoy.