Research & Development

Do robots and AI have to earn our trust?

Sep 10, 2018 | 1356 views

By: Pinaki Laskar

LinkedIn | Blog |


There are no black and white decisions in healthcare and are we ready to hand over life and death to robots?

The coming of age for artificial intelligence, While artificial intelligence has been central to sci-fi films for more than 50 years, it has not lived up to the hype in the real world. But now, with unprecedented interest and investment, AI is coming of age.

Artificial Intelligence sounds like it parallels human intelligence, except faster, all-knowing, and non-forgetting. But, this just isn’t what it means when people attach the term to their innovation. In reality, “AI” is like a childhood nickname you can’t get rid of. Hardly does that nickname accurately describe who you are as a person.

Humans rely on technology on virtually every aspect of today’s life and yet we want to question whether computers will someday be able to do tasks as simple and mundane as driving a car or detect early warning signs of pancreatic cancer!

The real question is how far we are today from this reality? It will still take some time to have paradigm-shifting effects, to the masses feel the true impact of the technology. They will be as safe as, if not safer than, human-driven decision.


There are several personal healthcare companions like Mabu, available in the west. Can robots replace human care givers?

We define the Autonomous world as a future state when intelligent technology systems, operating without human participation, enable new business models in a more efficient society.

Given the fact that the AI today can perceive far more than a naked human eye and computers can do trillions of calculations per second and process and communicate that data at the speed of light, it all narrows down to the human intelligence. 

AI researchers are referring to a time when software begins to exhibit human-like cognitive abilities. Meaning, Not only will it detect early warning signs of pancreatic cancer, but it can also formulate hypotheses on how to resolve the fact that most people don’t catch pancreatic cancer until it’s too late.

When a person is disabled or physically handicapped, it does not mean that it will stop him from enjoying the joy of life. Suppose a family member or someone you care about is physically challenged. It's painful to see all the time that they need to depend on someone whenever they need to go out, even for just a ride. How does it feel when the youngsters grow up with some physical deformation, see that all their friends are getting their licenses to drive, but they can't? Now you have the answer. It is nothing but an intelligent robocare -a pop culture-infused joke restricted to references to The Jetsons or, for those with more discerning taste, The Fifth Element. Thanks to some deeply ambitious companies, this fantastical idea may finally have lift off.

The State Of Robot Caregivers - The greatest fear I have for my grandparents is that they’ll fall, hurt themselves, with no one around to help. To achieve this vision, one’s home would be equipped with multiple sensors. These sensors may notice my grandma is cooking dinner and send the robot to help her get the 

flour off the top shelf. Taking it one step further, after collecting data and learning her daily routine, algorithms could predict what she’ll need help with next, while also noticing if her routine has changed – maybe she’s eating or exercising less, watching too much TV, sleeping more, etc… Robocare might then pleasantly tell her to go for a walk, read a book, or have a snack.

So, not only can the robot caregiver be counted on to do tasks around the house. But, they’ll also act as a “lifestyle coach” of sorts, to make sure the elderly maintain a healthy routine.

There’s still one area they fall far short in, compassion. It is evident that robot caregivers may just have to learn care and compassion from their human counterparts. The same way your grandma or mother taught you, through experience, which raises the question - Do we even want robots to blur the lines between human and manufactured compassion?


Is there a clash between doctors and innovators happening right now, between what is known and what is new?

About eight months ago I came down with a pretty bad ear infection. For three weeks I came and went to the doctor, trying different medications and treatments. But, there was a big problem. The only measurement of the drugs’ efficacy was my subjective response to the question, “How much pain are you in?” And this is the case for so many doctors’ visits. We all know that subjective feelings are unreliable. Rating your pain on a scale of 1-10 gives us little baseline at all to go off of. Which is why researchers want to get rid of subjective feelings in treatment by using a AI algorithm that can detect your pain levels by studying your face. So far, the algorithm is 85% successful, the future of AI research is overflowing with possibilities. From health quality to personality traits, IQ to likelihood toward negative behaviors.

I do believe AI doesn't take the responsibility away from the Doctors! When in reality, each “Artificial Intelligence” innovation we hear about is a separate piece of software learning how to automate a very specific task.

Technology trends will revolutionize how industry players respond to changing consumer behavior, develop partnerships, and healthcare transformational change.

AI is much better at supporting humans, as opposed to replacing them. Applying AI can help to improve productivity of healthcare 

professionals, such as physicians and nurses, helping to addressing shortfalls and clinician burnout.

AI cannot find answers to all the problems that a trained professional can. What it can do is help us get a better understanding of diseases. It can help physicians make more informed decisions. It can help reduce the need for experimentation. It can help professionals fix issues faster and get more focused insights. AI can help standardize medicine development and prescription. All-in-all, AI integration will benefit us in the long run.

The fact that a computer system has the ability to interrogate medical records, case histories, regulatory guidelines and scientific developments and provide the same clinical judgment as eminent physicians should be welcomed rather than feared. Algorithms and digital innovations have a place alongside the white coat and the stethoscope and that is really the future.

Remember, a knife is also technology, A knife that can cut an apple can also cut your finger. The answer for how AI is used, in the end, is simple.

“The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.”