Data annotators are the unsung heroes of medicine’s artificial intelligence revolution

Bertalan Meskó


The artificial intelligence (A.I.) era is booming. More than twice as many papers mentioning A.I. were published in medical journals in 2018 than in 2017. The way machine and deep learning algorithms can contribute to diagnosing medical conditions or tailoring therapies have been explored in major studies (1). However, the medical community is concerned and has expressed doubts about the challenges A.I. poses to healthcare (2,3). While the potential of artificial narrow intelligence in assisting medical professionals in their daily work is exceptionally high, there is one aspect of the journey towards A.I. that often gets forgotten: the importance of data annotators.