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Blog 12: We are the robots

As German Electronic band Kraftwerk sang back in 1978...

We are programmed just to do
Anything you want us to
We are the robots

This however no longer seems so far fetched.

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is permeating every industry and Dentistry is no different.

I was at a Dental Conference in June 2023 when one of the Speakers provided a live demonstration of the capabilities of AI live on stage.

In his demonstration - which is now most likely well out of date - the presenter uploaded X-rays and 3d jaw bone scans to his A.I. program (something called Diagno-cat).

Within seconds of doing this the A.I. had provided a 13 page medical reports on the 3d scans, offered a diagnosis and suggested a course of treatment for the problem while also outlining the likely chances of success.

There was a collective gasp of excited horror from the audience at this !

To put this into context, reporting on 3D bone scans, then forming a diagnosis and setting out a written treatment plan and report can take several "human hours".

The possibilities for such examples of A.I. are incredible - perhaps patients who are waiting anxiously for the results of medical scans can have an answer within seconds, perhaps waiting lists could be shortened, perhaps medical staff could be 'freed up' to do other tasks.

Taking this a step further - a good colleague recently shared an article he had seen on the use of A.I. and robots to perform actual clinical dentistry.

In this article and accompanying video, a robot called Yomi which resembled ED209 from the movie RoboCop planned and then placed 6 dental implants in a patient.

It took just over 60 seconds for the Robot to place each dental matter what anyone tells you, that is a level of efficiency that humans cannot match.

The trouble with all of this is that we are one software glitch away from catastrophe.

Just ask the Postal workers who suffered at the hands of the Fujitisu software glitches.

Nonetheless, A.I. is clearly here to stay, and it will without doubt an important part of the medical and dental professions. To what extent A.I. will replace humans in the medical and dental professions remains to be seen...but we will need to work with it...

As the author Sukant Ratnakar said

“Our future success is directly proportional to our ability to understand, adopt and integrate new technology into our work.”

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