Artificial Intelligence in the Medical System: Four Roles for Potential Transformation

W. Nicholson Price II
21 Yale J.L. & Tech. Special Issue 122

Artificial intelligence (AI) looks to transform the practice of medicine. As academics and policymakers alike turn to legal questions, a threshold issue involves what role AI will play in the larger medical system. This Article argues that AI can play at least four distinct roles in the medical system, each potentially transformative: pushing the frontiers of medical knowledge to increase the limits of medical performance, democratizing medical expertise by making specialist skills more available to non-specialists, automating drudgery within the medical system, and allocating scarce medical resources. Each role raises its own challenges, and an understanding of the four roles is necessary to identify and address major hurdles to the responsible development and deployment of medical AI.