Industry News & Announcements

Jun 18
working in the dental operation room

Artificial Intelligence, the theory and development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that would normally require human brains, is now present in some manner in just about every industry on Planet Earth.  AI systems are most prevalent in research & development, and consumer technology, but also in health care and of course in modern dentistry.

Dental ChatbotSome examples of routine tasks that would normally require human intelligence, but which can now be replaced by an artificial Intelligence include visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages, to name just a few roles AI plays everyday. You see, in all these cases, it behooves humans to have smart devices that get even smarter as they gain ‘work experience’ recognizing patterns and putting two and two together. That’s artificial intelligence.  Once the doctor signifies what something means, the machine won’t have to ask the practitioner the next time and will be that much more effective spotting anomalies or translating words or doing whatever it’s doing in the future.

It should be emphasized that AI is there to use the data we already have to make better and faster diagnosis, and to help utilize the information to make better remedies.  In the case of Dental Attendant, intelligent algorithms help manage the cloud based messaging platform and deliver advanced conversion optimization technology.  How Dental Attendant works? It powers data driven conversations on Facebook Messenger or any website. Artificial intelligence helps the messaging systems automatically answer common questions, and get smarter with every interaction, and book appointments based on the clinic’s own calendar.

Artificial Intelligence has many Related Fields of Study

Today, the most prevalent sub fields of AI include these five disciplines, and more which are not listed here but perhaps not so applicable to dental clinics.

Machine Learning happens when computers use neural networks, physics, and statistics and become more accurate and efficient processing data without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Deep learning is the learning of complex patterns in large amounts of data. Think image and speech recognition. This a machine learning technique that teaches computers to do what comes naturally to humans: learn by example.

Cognitive computing aims to simulate human processes through image and speech interpretation and responding appropriately.

Computer vision recognizes content in photos and videos.

Natural language processing is the ability of computers to analyze and generate human speech.

Each of these fields is exploding because of the benefits that dentists can realize by harnessing the technology.

Deploying Artificial Intelligence in Dental Clinics, Office Admin and in the Operatories

Digital aids that improve online user experience such as predictive text (when texting on your phone), speech-to-text (when asking Alexa for help), social media algorithms (whose posts you see on your Facebook feed page), and even Google search results are all examples of Artificial Intelligence in action today.  Not the technologies themselves you understand, but their efficiencies.  Can you imagine not being able to shout at your phone for directions when driving? or not being able to see your friend’s posts in Facebook.  That’s artificial Intelligence at work.

Speech recognition – Call answer systems monitor calls for words that could have either positive or negative implications. For example, if a member of the public uses threatening words, that could trigger a supervisor to listen in on the call.

Perception – Planet hunters who use expensive telescopes to study the heavens and soak up lots of data use the same data sifting programs as health care professionals who run expensive scans; they both use software to perceive things that their eyes and ears would miss. Those perception programs increasingly use AI to get smarter with every scan.

Deep Learning – AI is all about ‘learning’ and the hottest thing in the marketplace is deep learning.
Medical Research: Cancer researchers are using deep learning to automatically detect cancer cells. Teams at UCLA built an advanced microscope that yields a high-dimensional data set used to train a deep learning application to accurately identify cancer cells

Planning – Scheduling patients and practitioners in specialized rooms with special equipment in multiple locations is a very difficult task. This is certainly one place where computer programs and data management software can help business administrators streamline the day to day operations at health care facilities.

Problem solving – By setting parameters and objectives=, computers can be harnessed to research an infinite number of possibilities looking for the best outcomes – by focusing intelligent computer systems, AI is used to research the faster it will learn to find patterns and results for many of the questions that the world is exploring. Imagine having artificial intelligence that runs through thousands of simulations electronically in order to find cures for many of life’s ailments. This would free up researchers to devise new parameters and objectives.

getting feedback from Dental AttendantSome of the activities that distinguish AI technology from traditional technologies in health care is the ability to gain information, process it and give a well-defined output to the end-user.  Artificially Intelligent software does this through machine learning algorithms. These algorithms can recognize patterns in behavior and create its own logic. In order to reduce the margin of error, AI algorithms need to be tested repeatedly.

AI algorithms behave differently from humans in two ways: (1) algorithms are literal: if you set a goal, the algorithm can’t adjust itself and only understand what is has been told explicitly, (2) and algorithms are black boxes; algorithms can predict extremely precise, but not the cause or the why.

How is AI currently being used in dentistry?

In dentistry, AI is being used for different applications.   Voice commands help dentists bring up specific charts without having to touch anything.  Because computers are able to process large amounts of data and recognize patterns within that data to accomplish tasks, scientists are already using AI in caries detection. This helps practitioners more accurately identify cavities and other oral health issues. Through machine learning,  AI programs can retrieve data from a dentist’s record and analyze it on their behalf before directing the practitioner to search or recheck certain problem areas. The computer programs allow the dental clinics to communicate with patients directly, and even book patient appointments. It does all of this without human involvement.

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