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Could machines using artificial intelligence make doctors obsolete?

Artificial intelligence systems simulate human intelligence by learning, reasoning, and self-correction. This technology has the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses and performing surgical interventions, says Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

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It has a “near unlimited capacity” for data processing and subsequent learning, and can do this at a speed that humans cannot match.

Increasing amounts of health data, from apps, personal monitoring devices, electronic medical records, and social media platforms are being brought together to give machines as much information as possible about people and their diseases. At the same time machines are “reading” and taking account of the rapidly expanding scientific literature. (1)

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We believe computers can replace doctors.

But doctors are not here to keep us alive.

They are here to discuss with the dead.

No matter how much data you analyze, you will always miss the point.

That our life is not our own.

And that we are not here to avoid death.

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But to embrace it.

A computer cannot help you live.

Simply because it can never die…