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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-8

Robotics & artificial intelligence : The future of surgeons & surgery

1 Prof Neurosurgery & Dean Academics, Colaba, Mumbai, India
2 Faculty College of Nursing, Colaba, Mumbai, India
3 Research Assistant Dept. of Director & Dean, INHS Asvini, Colaba, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
K I Mathai
Prof Neurosurgery & Dean Academics, Colaba
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-3605.202977

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Robotics and Artificial Intelligence complement surgical technical expertise and judgement. A robot’s accuracy in the programmed performance of predesignated tasks is exquisite. Historically, with the evolution of microsurgery, senior surgeons designated delicate suture placement to more steady handed, sharper eyed young fellows or even nurses. Tactile feedback and ultrasensitive pressure velocity controls make robotics a viable but expensive option to fine surgical assistance. Autonomous surgical robots are however a distinct paradigm. Myriad unfathomed mysteries of human pathophysiology and anatomy confer upon surgical procedures complexities which defy stratification and simplification into sets of preordained tasks. In the current scenario where fuzzy logic, neural networks and intuitive computing are still in early evolution, robots replacing master surgeons seem as improbable as Google self driving cars in formula one racing. Robots have evolved as dextrous, fatigue and tremor free surgical tools. The data crunching capability of computers is improving in speed and in capability for machine learning. Human surgical maturity on the other hand is attained and matures through phases of information assimilation, knowledge consolidation and attainment of surgical wisdom. Human surgeons at the helm will, in this decade harness robotic capabilities and information template paradigms to fine tune many procedures and to augment surgical reach. Quantum leaps and paradigm shifts towards robotic surgical autonomy may be neither desirable nor practical.

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