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High Hopes for “Deep Medicine”? AI, Economics, and the Future of Care
Abstract: In the much-celebrated book Deep Medicine, Eric Topol argues that the development of artificial intelligence for health care will lead to a dramatic shift in the culture and practice of medicine. In the next several decades, he suggests, AI will become sophisticated enough that many of the everyday tasks of physicians could be delegated to it. Topol is perhaps the most articulate advocate of the benefits of AI in medicine, but he is hardly alone in spruiking its potential to allow physicians to dedicate more of their time and attention to providing empathetic care for their patients in the future. Unfortunately, several factors suggest a radically different picture for the future of health care. Far from facilitating a return to a time of closer doctor-patient relationships, the use of medical AI seems likely to further erode therapeutic relationships and threaten professional and patient satisfaction.