The future of medicine: AI based robots might wipe out this field

7/8/2022 9:39:29 PM

The future of medicine: Are AI based robots about to wipe doctors out this field?

Have you ever watched “Passengers”? It is one of the most spectacular sci/fi movies about a voyage to a distant colony planet. However, what I am going to talk about today is not its big stars and an even bigger budget, but rather how it managed to beautifully depict the future of medicine: automated robots! Such robots, as portrayed in the film, would be capable of diagnosing, treating, estimating the prognosis, and even following up the course of numerous diseases! But a big, bright question still lights up the sky of doubt in our minds: Will Artificial Intelligence and the possibilities it brings with itself, physician robots included, ever be able to fully replace us, bio-robots?

To answer such a future-oriented question, one should have a good understanding of “Interdisciplinarity” (1). Interdisciplinarity is the sole concept that can give us an outlook on what a robot needs to provide us with for it to gain enough popularity to replace flesh-and-blood physicians. This concept also reminds us that for anything new to replace an older version, it shall encompass not only all the previously-present options but also furnish new ones! Therefore, it can be inferred that robots can wipe us out of the medical field and leave us jobless, as they can take care of patients more tirelessly than nurses, suture more precisely than surgeons, work longer hours than physicians, and interpret imaging way more immaculately than average radiologists, not to mention their unlimited memory and the boundless number of differential diagnoses they can beware of (2-5)! Nevertheless, there is still something that might give us leverage over metal doctors: our instinct to treat and be treated with compassion!

Patients are not just a combination of signs and symptoms. They are human beings just like the doctor on the other side of the table! They are beyond scared of what might be wrong with their bodies, stressed out about how it can affect their everyday life, and anxious to find out if there is a way to cure them for good! We have been programmed to look for compassion and evoke it in those close to us no matter what. From the day we lay eyes on our mothers, to when we make friends at kindergarten, find our career passions, get married, and form our own families, we are in a constant search for compassion and a feeling of inclusion1! This is why most world-renowned doctors have rejected the possibility of AI-based robots fully obsoleting us, at least for the foreseeable future! Robots cannot show true, humane compassion and care for those they work with (6). They may be faster, more accurate, and more precise than we can ever be, but they will never manage to comfort an end-stage cancer patient, a mother who has just had a miscarriage, or a child whose parents passed away due to a car crash. Consequently, maybe we should think of robots as our weapons to fight the ever-growing pace of diseases and use them as allies to help bring the ship of medicine to a more rewarding shore (7). Together, we shall combine our imagination, creativity, and emotions with their pace and accuracy. Only then will we be able to overcome the challenges that modern medicine and complex abnormalities dispatch on our way.

Remember, rivalry inspires us to become the best version of ourselves, but companionship opens our eyes to new prospects that can even upgrade us!

Written By: Sara Bagherieh

Poster Design: Alireza Bagheri


1.​Council DTFT. AI Will Not Replace Doctors, But It May Drastically Change Their Jobs [online]. Available at:

2.​Bousquet C, Coulet A. Supporting Diagnosis With Next-Generation Artificial Intelligence. Jama 2022;327:1400.

3.​Jumper J, Evans R, Pritzel A, et al. Highly accurate protein structure prediction with AlphaFold. Nature 2021;596:583-589.

4.​Esteva A, Kuprel B, Novoa RA, et al. Dermatologist-level classification of skin cancer with deep neural networks. Nature 2017;542:115-118.

5.​James CA, Wachter RM, Woolliscroft JO. Preparing Clinicians for a Clinical World Influenced by Artificial Intelligence. Jama 2022;327:1333-1334.

6.​Sloane M. To make AI fair, here's what we must learn to do. Nature 2022;605:9.

7.​Mehonic A, Kenyon AJ. Brain-inspired computing needs a master plan. Nature 2022;604:255-260

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