We are living in a new chapter of human development. Known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it represents a fundamental change in how we live, work and relate to one another. This change is enabled by extraordinary technology, which blurs the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both prodigious progress and potential peril. The volatility and complexity of this revolution pressure us to rethink how industry sectors and countries will develop as technologies such as gene editing, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) converge before our eyes.
Advances in AI and their application to dentistry are increasingly prominent, specifically in dental radiography. Given the volume of radiographs taken and the importance of radiography on dental diagnosis, dentistry is well-positioned to use AI’s abilities. There are likely far more dental radiographs than any other kind, and once annotated by human experts, they are being used to program AI systems to recognize potential pathology. However, as AI becomes responsive to the environment, the intended purpose may evolve into unintended consequences for AI.
If an AI system is not used as intended, what are the potential dangers and risks, and where are they redistributed? This paper will explore how AI-powered dental radiography can have unintended uses, why appropriate safeguards and regulatory frameworks are required to mitigate harms, and which stakeholders should be particularly concerned.