Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been extremely anticipated for the past few months. And this unprecedented attention is not without warrant — AI is a piece of potentially disruptive technology that could alter the way that we move around the real world. One such change lies in the jobs that it could potentially render obsolete. 

But, before we even begin to discredit artificial intelligence the way the Amish have been depicted to discredit electricity, we have to delve into the reasons why tech giants are even bothering with the development of this technology. 

The Benefits

First and foremost, let’s view the workplace the way we would a computer system, particularly as to how RAM works. Now, you may have a really skilled doctor; you could say that this particular doctor is comparable to a single 8GB RAM stick. This doctor can only treat so many patients the way that the single RAM stick can only process a certain amount of data. Oftentimes, when the workload is too much, the bottleneck happens here.

Now, in comparison, let’s say that we instead, opted to use two 4GB RAM sticks. While we still end up with 8GB of RAM in total, both sticks will function in dual band mode. This means that data is going to travel evenly through both sticks versus a single stick. That second stick of RAM could be likened to artificial intelligence. 

It’s not meant to replace the professional; rather, it’s meant to enhance the professional’s performance. And AI can do so by helping the doctor come up with more accurate diagnoses and also prescribe treatments based on those findings. 

But the true potential of AI is its ability to learn. It’s basically software that’s capable of learning. And what does this imply? Because it’s not confined to the restraints of age and mortality, it could potentially learn and store a lifetime’s worth of information. 

The Liability

But herein lies a risk. Artificial Intelligence is in its neophyte stages. And well, the problem is that it’s still prone to errors. If you think of it, it’s a legal issue waiting to happen. A medical malpractice attorney is specialized to handle cases wherein a doctor was negligent in the process of providing medical care. Now, this begs the question:

“Should a doctor still be held liable for erroneously performing a medical procedure that was suggested by AI?”

Most lawyers are going to say yes, based on the premise that the doctor is presumed to have much more experience than the assisting AI. But what happens when the time comes that artificial intelligence reliability is greater than, if not equal to, that of doctors?

Will doctors soon be relieved of any accountability in the performance of their duties? I wouldn’t know for sure.