“They said multiple times that the robot will never replace the nurse, but who are they replacing,” said Inni Ngijoi-Yogo, a junior biology pre-med major and president of Waynesburg’s American Medical Student Association chapter.
Students met to discuss the impact that artificial intelligence will have on the medical field Monday, Nov. 18. The event, held on the third floor of Stover, was hosted by a collaboration of students from AMSA and the computer science club.
“We want the floor to be open for discussion,” said Andrew Gordon, junior biology pre-med major and secretary of AMSA.
The meeting began with a powerpoint presentation built with videos and information to drive the discussion. It explained the origins of AI and its current application in medicine. This was followed by a structured conversation, where students touched on issues such as the application of robots in surgery and ethics of AI in healthcare. The organizers also included points that questioned these implications for Christians.
“As a Christian, is this what God wants us to do? Are we progressing in the way that He would want us to go?” Ngijoi-Yogo asked. “He created so many natural compounds and substances and plants that we could use to treat and heal ourselves, so is this what God wants?”
Lexi Reinnick, a junior biology pre-med major and vice president of AMSA, said the discussion showed her the importance of knowing the extent to which we should apply technology to medicine.
“I think it’s important to be cognizant of how far technology should go, especially in the medical field. We don’t want to necessarily be afraid of technology, but we also should not get to the point where it’s valid to be afraid of technology,” Reinnick said.
The discussion also informed students on how developments in technology will affect their future career.
“I do want to be more aware of the new technology coming out, because that is really important as doctors. One of the things that they fall short on is being aware of what is going on with recent research and how drugs are changing and things like that,” Reinnick said. “People don’t think about how technology is changing medicine, and we need to know that.”
The meeting also marked a moment when two clubs on campus worked together to tackle a controversial topic.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a joint collaboration between two clubs,” Ngijoi -Yogo said. “And on top of that, it will really open people’s minds up to the sciences and STEM fields, especially freshmen and sophomores.”
Reinnick also hopes more events like this will help boost interest and involvement in their respective clubs.
“We want more people in the club to be involved in events that we do. It’s so easy for people in the club to be involved when you are already interested in a similar topic,” Reiddick said. “I think one of the most important things is community involvement and getting people interested in those things.”