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Bored of AI

Bored of AI

Dr Burnt Out asks if anyone else is incredibly bored by AI

You cannot open a newspaper or medical journal (ahem) without reading endless articles about how AI will ‘transform’ medical practice and revolutionise how we provide care as GPs. What utter rubbish

We work in a primary care environment where it is a major achievement to get a printer to work and where you cannot sign off EPS without having to shut down and re-start the EHR and computer multiple times.

As in the country generally, the condition of general practice is in a state of prolonged and likely terminal decay and decline. The idea that we are all going to be plugged into AI for ‘real-time’ consulting in some sort of hi-tech AI GP utopian nirvana is simply laughable, and scary at the same time.

I think where the problem starts is how people see and regard AI: it is simply very complex human inputted computer algorithms and computer programmes, with all the bias and problems that can occur with that. AI is not conscious and never can be, as consciousness is only part of living beings

With AI, the developers and proponents seem to be using the ‘Turing Test’ to determine AI’s use and effectiveness. Many people including some very intelligent philosophers disagree that the Turing Test is valid or conceptually correct.

Some of the problem is also the ignorant bumptiousness and extreme over-confidence many of the digital and AI proponents and developers, and with how AI is regarded, and an unthinking acceptance in the role and value of AI development.

Patients (including many doctors) universally hate all the numerous questions and chatbot queries when doing a triage or e-consultation: what patients usually want is to have a human doctor, whom they trust, look them in the eyes and ask in an empathetic way how they can help.

Millions of people are also digitally excluded if they don’t have a computer or smartphone as a recent TV documentary highlighted.

To me there seem to be some big scandals brewing in the NHS and primary care in the coming years.

When Sir Robert Francis reflected on his work on the Mid-Staffs scandal, he was asked where it all went wrong. ‘Not listening to patients or staff’ was his answer…

Maybe those in power should actually start listening to patients more now , rather than the AI developers?

Yes AI, I’m afraid it’s a big yawn all round…,

Dr Burnt Out is a GP locum in London



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

So the bird flew away 15 March, 2024 12:12 pm

Agree with you re bored with AI but especially the hijacking of the debate by those who’ve drank the Kool Aid and have bought into the idea that AI is all good. In fact Clare Gerada did a piece in Pulse recently singing its praises without considering any of its downsides (material or philosophical).
Yuval Noah Harari’s books Homo Deus and 21 lessons are interesting reading about AI and potential extinction level dangers to Homo Sapiens.