Name game: ‘AHI’ no more or less loved than AI

Physicians, nurses and other patient-facing healthcare workers are neither softened nor hardened in their attitudes toward clinical decision support powered by AI when it’s instead called “AHI,” for augmented human intelligence.

The finding comes from a survey of 93 clinical staff at the Mayo Clinic conducted by researchers there.

And it’s consistent with previous surveys of the general public showing little difference in perceptions of machine learning vs. AI, note the authors of the present study, which is running online in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

Lead author Santiago Romero-Brufau, MD, PhD, and colleagues had participants agree or disagree—separately for AI and AHI—along a five-level strength-of-feeling scale with these statements:

  • I believe AI/AHI will not be able to understand my job well enough to help.
  • I am worried that AI/AHI will make my job obsolete.
  • I am worried that AI/AHI will make my job more complicated.
  • I am excited about how AI/AHI can help me with my job.
  • I routinely use AI/AHI support in my job.
  • I am generally familiar with AI/AHI.

“Because the choice of term does not meaningfully influence staff’s perceptions about the work domain, other considerations should dictate which term is preferred,” the authors comment in their discussion.

They note that Mayo’s institutional leadership has decided on AHI as its preferred term.

Journal publisher Springer Nature has posted the study, including side-by-side comparisons of the tested statements, in full for free.