Fallible machines, fallible humans

From medicine to aviation, the challenge is to find the right degree of interaction between the two while being alert to new risks arising from AI-human teamwork.

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LONDON • At first glance, the stack of medicine pumps might bear little resemblance to the flight deck of a modern aircraft. A series of white plastic boxes stacked on top of one another, they look similar to other pumps in a hospital that control the flow of drugs and fluids into the bloodstream of critically ill patients.

Yet there is one crucial difference: These pumps - which can be used for insulin, painkillers and many other medications - are set up to take over important, safety-critical tasks that were once undertaken only by doctors and nurses.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2019, with the headline Fallible machines, fallible humans. Subscribe