As AI-based goods and services grow across sectors, one question emerges as the most pressing: should these systems include a person in the loop or function independently? This question is at the heart of many of the services and goods we today take for granted. Consider using Google Maps as an example. Many of us now take this AI-based service for granted, and when it provides us directions to get from one point to another, we follow them almost without question. This instrument has no human guide or moderator; we can't even phone a hotline, as at a bank, and demand to talk to someone about getting erroneous directions or being led off on the wrong path.

There is no one to support us or to complain to if something goes wrong in the loop. AI is being widely utilised in healthcare applications, which is a positive development for many. India faces significant challenges in delivering medical services to its residents; the number of beds and physicians per thousand of population are both less than half of the global average. When rural and urban populations are contrasted, the results are even worse, with urban people faring substantially better in terms of medical services. It's no surprise, however, that widely available and low-cost digital healthcare technologies, such as those enabled by AI, are emerging as solutions to bridge this gap.

These services include locating physicians and hospitals, giving rapid and low-cost medical tests, assisting surgeons with treatment selection, and assisting with operation. Many companies are providing innovative AI-based services, and many well-established hospitals are heavily utilising AI. Is there a person in the loop for all of these AI-enabled businesses?

A number of healthcare firms, such as Pulse India and mFine, use internet portals and applications to connect patients with physicians. They employ artificial intelligence to mine data like as patient information, medications, and patient care details in order to recommend cures and treatments. Though there is no person in the loop when the system detects ailments, the major goal of these apps is to connect patients with physicians, therefore a human, a physician, is in charge of the ultimate diagnosis and treatment.

The future of AI technology in India is bright, since there is a high need for volume, scalability, and accuracy, as well as inexpensive costs. Patients and families still want a real doctor in the loop in many circumstances, to explain things, relate case histories to symptoms, and make difficult decisions. Philosophers and humanists contend that judgments are unique to people, and that the attributes necessary to form them - empathy, subjectivity, and human-ness - are qualities that robots cannot replicate. Humans will always be necessary to be involved in the process. However, it is not clear how people are involved in the loop. To prevent this, further research into the entire human-machine system is needed.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in ET Healthworld. The original article can be found at