Press Release

The future of AI in medicine

The Keck School of Medicine of USC is embracing the power of AI for scientific discovery and health care delivery

September 10, 2023
Cancer detection and screening as a treatment for malignant cells with a biopsy or testing caused by carcinogens and genetics with a cancerous cell as an immunotherapy symbol as a 3D render.

Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to revolutionize medicine, giving us a better understanding of health and disease and the ability to make more decisions based on data.

“It’s not that AI will replace the physician,” said Carolyn Meltzer, MD, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It’s that the physician who uses AI will replace the physician who does not use AI.”

With the power of AI turning data into knowledge, the Keck School is poised to make major advances on some of the grandest health challenges. With AI, vast amounts of data on everything from genetics and lifestyle to ambient pollution and socioeconomic factors will empower researchers and clinicians to zero in on a patient’s unique risk of disease and the best course of prevention or treatment. A strong partnership with the Viterbi School of Engineering and a diverse surrounding community provide the ingredients for science that may ultimately help millions around the globe.

“This type of knowledge is leading us to the verge of understanding the molecular basis for humankind’s most pressing diseases, which then could lead to cures,” said Steven Shapiro, MD, USC’s senior vice president for health affairs.

To realize this promise, researchers and clinicians must be mindful of inherent bias in many current data sets and intentional in eliminating barriers to diverse populations participating in research.

“Sometimes we have the absence of data on some populations that may not have the social environmental support to have those data points,” said Meltzer. “So this is something we really need to think about.”

At the Keck School, students, clinicians and researchers are ready to deliver on that promise, using AI as one of their tools in taking on the world’s toughest health challenges.

“This is what Keck is about: bold thinking, igniting discovery—and not always following the expected path,” Meltzer said.