Intended for healthcare professionals

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Patient commentary: Stop hyping artificial intelligence—patients will always need human doctors

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 07 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4669

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Could artificial intelligence make doctors obsolete?

  1. Michael Mittelman, executive director1,
  2. Sarah Markham, visiting researcher2,
  3. Mark Taylor, head of impact3
  1. 1American Living Organ Donor Fund, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  2. 2Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK
  3. 3National Institute for Health Research Central Commissioning Facility, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: M Mittelman mikemitt{at}

If regulated and well implemented, machines that learn have the potential to bring huge benefit to patients, but who wants to receive a terminal diagnosis from a robot? ask Michael Mittelman, Sarah Markham, and Mark Taylor

We regularly hear that artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the world, including healthcare, and how this disruptive innovation could spell the end for many professions as we currently know them, including lawyers and doctors.12

In healthcare, however, it is crucial that technology company executives, researchers, hospital managers, and academics ask the right questions about AI’s impact on patients.

Between the three of us, we have over 61 years of patient history in health systems worldwide. We have different needs, conditions, and comorbidities, including multiple sclerosis, end stage renal disease, mental illness, epilepsy, and Crohn’s disease. …

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