• Call for Abstracts – Medical Knowledge In the Clinic and Out of the Clinic

    Call for Abstracts

    Medical knowledge is accumulated via clinical research and disseminated via multiple synthesis and translation mechanisms into daily clinical practice. Historically, there was a large divide between ‘expert’ knowledge available only to highly trained clinicians, but increasingly, the boundaries between knowledge domains are blurring, as medical knowledge is also becoming available directly to members of the public via digital tools, for example, Google and WebMD. Medical facts and discoveries are an integral part of health coverage and debates in the general media, and increasingly in social media, affecting public and patient knowledge of medical topics which in turn informs – and is informed by – lived experiences that patients bring into clinical encounters. On the other hand, medical knowledge is represented by medical training and (ongoing, cumulative) medical evidence base, which itself is being transformed by trends such as the acceleration of research accumulation and disciplinary specialization. As a result, there is an ongoing interplay of these different knowledge domains with doctor-patient shared decision-making.

    The DSI Health community plans to hold an international and interdisciplinary workshop exploring the role of digitalization on the communication of medical knowledge in different knowledge domains, and how medical knowledge obtained via digital tools such as Google and WebMD affect the doctor-patient relationship and shared decision-making. The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, health practitioners, and interested members of the public to discuss topics around medical knowledge creation and exchange, flow, and transfer within and between different knowledge domains.

    The workshop organizers would like to invite abstracts on any topic related to medical knowledge, digitalization, and their effects on the doctor-patient relationship.
    Specific topics may include:

    • The role of digitalization in democratizing medical knowledge
    • Digital translations, disciplinary specializations, and multi-perspective bridges
    • Medical knowledge in the media
    • Narratives and discourses in medical knowledge
    • Digitalization of the medical scientific literature
    • Knowledge negotiation in clinical dialogues
    • Digital support for medical knowledge in shared decision-making
    • Digitalization as an accelerator of knowledge translation
    • The doctor-patient relationship

    Abstracts should be 200-500 words in length and should be submitted via this form by the 30th of April, 2023. Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing committee and may be selected for oral or poster presentation.

  • 2023 DSI Workshop – Medical Knowledge

    How does medical knowledge travel from the lab to the clinic, and from the clinic out into the world? Where do patients get their information from? How do different perspectives and ways of knowing affect the doctor-patient encounter and shared decision-making?

    To discuss these and other interesting questions, we will be holding a workshop in the summer of 2023 generously funded by the UZH’s Digital Society Initiative. Watch this space for the call for abstract submissions early in 2023!

    For more information, see https://health.dsi.uzh.ch/project/medical-knowledge-in-the-clinic-and-out-of-the-clinic/.

  • What are the limits of Artificial Intelligence?

    Seldom a day goes by without a new report in the media about artificial intelligence, reporting new achievements and inspiring hopes and fears for the future. But how realistic are these visions?

    Barry Smith, well-known contemporary philosopher, with Jobst Landgrebe, artificial intelligence entrepreneur, recently published a book entitled ‘Why machines will never rule the world: Artificial Intelligence without fear.‘ In this book, Landgrebe and Smith argue based on the mathematical theory of complex systems that artificial general intelligence – at the level of human intelligence – will never be possible.

    If Landgrebe and Smith are correct, then AI systems will always be limited to offering a simulation of intelligent behaviour rather than genuine intelligent behaviour, and therefore will only be applicable to limited situations which are predictable, rather than the wide range of unpredictable and novel situations that humans navigate in daily life.

    We are editing a special issue of the journal Cosmos+Taxis dedicated to responses to the book. The special issue will explore topics such as what the limits of artificial intelligence might be, and what the implications are of these limits for how we design, interact with and regulate the development of such systems. If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, contact me.