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The Life-Threatening Consequences of Overhyping AI

The Life-Threatening Consequences of Overhyping AI

On February 11, The New York Times published a story with the headline “AI Shows Promise Assisting Physicians.” While the article focused on a scientific paper showing how an artificial intelligence system could help doctors diagnose certain conditions, it missed a key part of the AI story: Accuracy does not equal impact.

The Nature article also points out that the scientists tested the AI against five sets of physicians with different levels of experience. It does not claim the AI performed better than experienced doctors, and in fact says, “Our model achieved an average F1 score [accuracy measure] higher than the two junior physician groups but lower than the three senior physician groups. The result suggests that this AI model may potentially assist junior physicians in diagnoses but may not necessarily outperform experienced physicians.”

The Nature article also points out that the scientists tested the AI against five sets of physicians with different levels of experience. It does not claim the AI performed better than experienced doctors, and in fact says, “Our model achieved an average F1 score [accuracy measure] higher than the two junior physician groups but lower than the three senior physician groups. The result suggests that this AI model may potentially assist junior physicians in diagnoses but may not necessarily outperform experienced physicians.”

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