Afe for Vanguard

April 10, 2024

The changing world: The place of Artificial Intelligence(2), by Afe Babalola  

Afe Babalola

Artificial Intelligence, AI: Basics and Application in Clinical Medicine 

LAST week, I defined Artificial intelligence, AI, as a development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. These systems are designed to simulate human cognitive functions such as learning, problem-solving, perception, and decision-making. Artificial intelligence algorithms enable machines to analyze vast amounts of data, recognise patterns and make predictions or recommendations based on the information processed.

In this edition, I will look at the utility or otherwise of Artificial Intelligence in specific professions or courses of study in university system.

In the field of medicine, Artificial Intelligence has numerous applications that are revolutionising healthcare delivery, patient care, and medical research. Some key areas where Artificial Intelligence is making an impact include:

1. Diagnostic Imaging: Artificial Intelligence algorithms can analyze medical images such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to assist radiologists in detecting abnormalities, diagnosing diseases, and prioritising cases based on urgency.

2. Personalised Treatment: Artificial Intelligence enables the development of personalised treatment plans by analyzing patient data, including genetic information, medical history, and treatment outcomes. This approach allows healthcare providers to tailor treatments to individual patients, improving efficacy and minimising adverse effects.

3. Drug Discovery and Development: Artificial Intelligence algorithms are used to accelerate the drug discovery process by analyzing biological data, identifying potential drug targets, and predicting the efficacy and safety of new compounds. This enables researchers to expedite the development of novel therapies for various diseases.

4. Predictive Analytics: Artificial Intelligence-powered predictive analytics models can forecast patient outcomes, identify individuals at risk of developing certain conditions, and optimise healthcare resource allocation. These models help healthcare providers intervene early, prevent complications, and improve patient outcomes.

5. Virtual Health Assistants: Artificial Intelligence -driven virtual health assistants and chatbots provide patients with personalised medical advice, symptom assessment, medication reminders, and telemedicine services. These tools enhance patient engagement, facilitate self-management, and improve access to healthcare services.

Overall, Artificial Intelligence holds tremendous potential to transform healthcare by improving diagnostic accuracy, optimising treatment strategies, advancing medical research, and enhancing patient care delivery. 

As Artificial Intelligence technology continues to evolve, its integration into various aspects of medicine is expected to revolutionise the healthcare industry and improve health outcomes for patients worldwide.

Artificial Intelligence, a concept which was futuristic in the late 20th century and early 21st century, has now become a reality. Even better, various scientists have stated, and correctly too, that Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. This is obvious from the fact that Artificial Intelligence is gradually ubiquitous and the ready choice for many, where the alternative is a human professional. 

Artificial Intelligence and Legal Education/ Practice

The legal profession is one of great importance, especially because the decisions reached in the profession have a far-reaching effect. Nothing can therefore be left to chance. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, is training computers to mimic human intelligence, in other words to act like humans. Artificial Intelligence was originally designed to aid man in the discharge of his or her duties. It is an assistive technology. 

However, the employment and use of Artificial Intelligence in modern times have transcended the use as an assistance, to one of over-dependence. This is what happened to Mr. Schwarz.

In August 2019, Roberto Mata, a passenger aboard the Avianca flight 670 was injured by the metal food trolley in his knee. However, he did not sue until 2023. The lawyers representing Avianca therefore brought an application for the matter to be dismissed because of the statute of limitation. The defendant, represented by Levidow, Levidow & Oberman submitted a brief arguing that the court allowed the action. 

The application allowed was supported by six authorities, all of whom were discovered to be fictitious!!! 

Although Peter LoDuca appeared in court for Mata, he was not part of the research team. The judge requested that Peter and his team should explain themselves. That was when it was discovered that the colleague of Peter that prepared the brief (Steven S. Schwartz) used ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence gateway, to look for similar previous cases. According to Schwartz, he greatly regrets relying on that Chatbot. 

He claimed in his 30 years of active legal practice in New York, he had never prior to this matter relied on Artificial Intelligence and that he is unaware that its contents could be false. He thereafter vowed never to supplement his legal research in the future without absolute verification of its authenticity. 

Although what happened is unprecedented, once it has happened, it is a reminder that it can happen again and at any time. Humans generally wish that they could perform their daily tasks easier. Artificial Intelligence fills in this gap and provides the opportunity to have more done with less efforts, costs, inputs and time. However, in its very short span of existence, Artificial Intelligence has been abused in that it has been relied on in its totality without human inputs. 

Artificial Intelligence is a gamechanger. Whether you have asked it to write you a song in the style of your favourite musician, provide an answer to an essay question, tasked it to write copy for your company website, write a speech or even churn out specific programme code, ChatGPT has proved that it can deliver, and in a convincing way. In 2022, the Chatbot DoNotPay became popular globally as a robot lawyer having saved its users above $20 million from 2017 to 2021. Subscribers would therefor rather subscribe to a chatbot that will cost them $36 annually than to approach human lawyers who will charge much more. 

There was a time when the legal profession was the exclusive preserve of duly trained human legal practitioners. However, this time is no more. Artificial Intelligence is not just used in legal practice, it is also employed in legal education. Students (law students inclusive) have taken up the practice of relying on Artificial Intelligence to solve their assignments and write their long essays. The absolute reliance on Artificial Intelligence is alarming. This is because it defeats the purpose of education, which is the training of the mind for critical thinking and problem-solving ability, with little or no human supervision. 

It is not a forecast of doom, but students who are overly dependent on AI while they are in school will become lawyers who will depend largely on AI in legal practice, following the footsteps of Mr. Schwarz. 

As evident in the case of Mr. Schwarz, Artificial Intelligence is discouraging industry and hard work, critical thinking and creativity. 

Since a lawyer can just tell the Artificial Intelligence to craft a brief, without feeling the need to ascertain that the conclusions are apt and accurate. This is evident in the use of Artificial Intelligence by many students, who simply requests Artificial Intelligence to write their assignments. And use another Artificial Intelligence to restructure the answers (paraphrasers) so that it looks different from what was generated by the Artificial Intelligence, without altering the meaning contained in the answer generated by the Artificial Intelligence. Even tech giants are begging to have Artificial Intelligence regulated. 

In view of the above, it is important that certain rules and procedures should be developed for the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence, especially in the legal profession. Students and lawyers alike should be trained to use Artificial Intelligence as assistive technology, not as a substitute to critical thinking. Lawyers should also not make the same mistake Mr. Schwarz made. Rather, everything Artificial Intelligence is used to generate should also pass through human scrutiny and verification. This will help to ascertain that the information is true and dependable, and also infuse the output with better quality of the human touch. 

In conclusion, Artificial Intelligence is a technology of immense benefit, even to legal research and drafting. However, it should not be employed indiscriminately. The human touch is still an essential part of legal practice. Artificial Intelligence should therefore only be viewed as an assistive technology, and not a substitute to the human touch that is the basis of the legal profession.         

To  be concluded 

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