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Should this radiology student quit school?

U.S. Air Force//Benjamin W. Stratton

Andrew Ng, the artificial intelligence researcher, tweeted a letter overnight from a worried MD now undergoing specialist radiology training — to become one of the folks who analyze X-rays, MRIs and CT scans: "I'm 3 years into specialist radiology training. Should I quit and do something else?" Ng did not reveal the doctor's name, but did query the AI community: "What would you say to him?"

What worries the doctor is the encroachment of AI into medical imaging: Radiologists are said to be among the most threatened workers on the planet, along with truck drivers and retail workers. IBM's experimental Avicenna software reads X-rays and CT scans, and China's Enlitic is already using its imaging products in health centers there.

Among hundreds of replies, the upshot was that AI, after replacing technicians and outsource radiology labs, will threaten senior radiologists, too, in a decade, said Jonas Lamis, a tech VC now with Nok Nok Labs.