Expert Details a Recent Study on AI and People's Perceptions
Mon, October 25, 2021

Expert Details a Recent Study on AI and People's Perceptions

Karen Roby interviewed Dr. Karen Panetta about IEEE and a recent study on AI and healthcare / Photo Credit: metamorworks (via Shutterstock)


Karen Roby of online trade publication TechRepublic interviewed IEEE fellow and dean of engineering at Tufts University Dr. Karen Panetta about IEEE and a recent study on AI and healthcare. Dr. Panetta said this is the third year IEE has been studying about AI and the general public’s perception. Most individuals think AI is a “magic black box.” But for those working in the field, AI is a robust, proven technology. Dr. Panetta then said that the study looked at millennial parents who have kids below nine-years-old and whether they would think about using various types of AI in the future of their own children. Some examples were 3D-printed organs or a self-driving school bus. The study also discussed whether elderly millennial parents would rather have an AI-enabled assistant over their own children. It also touched upon using AI to diagnose cancer in children, as well as home health such as a recliner that tell some of your biometrics and monitor you without your knowledge.  

When Roby asked Dr. Panetta to expound on cancer diagnosis, she said, “I'll say in different countries such as India, Brazil, and China, there's huge support for these types of things, as well as in the UK and the US. But slightly lower in the US and the UK.” Developing countries support AI in healthcare because they don’t have universal healthcare accessibility. Hence, they see AI as an avenue to obtain fast, proper diagnosis. However, developing countries might not have an in-house expert.

As for the recliner and other smart devices, Dr. Panetta cited that one of the biggest problems with health monitoring systems is “trying to get the patient on it." With the recliner, it’s an innovative technology where you will just sit on it and it will just record your biometrics. There are also devices that tell you your blood sugar without drawing blood. Roby commented that people are embracing smart technologies. Dr. Panetta said this is "because a lot of the things that we see, especially in sensors, is the cost is coming down.” This means we can get technology to people and populations who really need it, not just the super-wealthy or the more-developed regions.