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Artificial Intelligence and the Healthcare Industry

This guide focuses on the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to health sciences, with particular emphasis on medical diagnostics and support for aging populations.

Introduction

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Imposing metal-art robot at the Indian Brook Trading Co. antiques and collectibles store in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. 2017. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence (MI), is ‘intelligence’ demonstrated by machines in contrast to natural intelligence (NI) demonstrated by humans and animals. In the field of computer science, AI research is defined as the study of "intelligent agents": that is, any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success in achieving particular goals, such as recognizing human speech, designing military simulations, competing at a high level in strategic game systems, successfully developing self-driving vehicles, or interpreting complex data, including images and videos. AI has the potential to impact nearly all aspects of our society, from healthcare, to the economy to military action. Its use and development are not without risks and technical challenges, and so it must be developed in a reliable manner to ensure dependability, safety and accuracy.

In this century, AI techniques have expanded greatly in the wake of significant advances in computing power, the capability of managing large amounts of data, and increased theoretical understanding of AI. Increasingly, AI techniques have become an essential part of today’s technological tools, helping to solve many challenging societal issues. This guide focuses on the application of AI to health sciences, with particular emphasis on medical diagnostics and support for aging populations. With the leaps and bounds that AI has made in just the last 20 years, and with the advances that are occurring in technology minute by minute, it will be interesting to see where AI will go and how it will affect our lives and our planet.

To locate more general sources on the use of artificial intelligence in business and industry, please see the Division’s web guide, Artificial Intelligence: Business and Industry Applications

This guide is intended to serve a wide research audience, as well as to provide useful, quality information and research assistance to the interested public. This guide is not an exhaustive list of resources, but rather a starting point for researching artificial intelligence focused on the healthcare and medical fields. It is not complete a list of the print resources available in The Library of Congress catalog, but a starting off point and basic information resource.