Artificial Intelligence: The New Frontier in Surgery

July 2020, European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, Michael McFarlane

DOI: 10.24018/ejmed.2020.2.4.405

Abstract — This review aims to discuss the advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the role it now plays in surgery. The discussion outlines the many capabilities of AI in improving the way in which surgery is conducted and a critical review of new AI developments. Artificial intelligence now well established in several industries has now begun to make a change with significant improvements in the practice of medicine. The use of algorithms that allow advanced computers to have cognitive functions that simulate human thought and actions has given rise to image and speech recognition, and autonomous robots that can perform unsupervised tasks relying on vast databanks of information. A transition from traditional laparoscopic surgery to robotic surgery has already taken place. Artificial intelligence is now beginning to extend the capabilities of surgical robots to encompass autonomy, which will allow them to use information from their surroundings, recognize problems and implement the correct actions without the need for human intervention. Advances in computing capability, machine engineering and robotics and the ever improving development of smart algorithms is allowing growth of the application of AI at a rapid pace. These developments have resulted in the development of nanorobots that function on a scale of nanometers and have become the next generation system to be integrated with AI and surgery. The use of this technology has resulted in advances in neurosurgery, vascular surgery and oncology. The future of surgery, like other fields in medicine will be data driven with a significant input from technology. Artificial Intelligence is one advancement that will play a significant role.