Protecting Sight #163: What AI is — and isn’t. Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology – a primer on AI concepts & deciphering studies.

Welcome to my daily learning journal. My daily goal is to watch one Ted Talk and one cataract surgery. I also plan to read one journal article and read/listen to a book chapter, short story or significant work.

In today’s list, I share a Ted Talk and other resources related to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The videos and references are an excellent introduction to AI and their application to ophthalmology.

1. Ted Talk – Sebastian Thrun and Chris Anderson: What AI is — and isn’t. “Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn’t fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. ‘Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet,’ Thrun says. ‘I believe all of us are insanely creative … [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action.'” (

This is well worth the 24-minute investment. An excellent overview of AI with applicability to medicine.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology. Dr. Devgan writes, “The future is here and John Ladas, MD, PhD gives us a brief lecture about the Rules of the Game of Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology. Dr Ladas has been a pioneer in the use of machine learning to enhance the accuracy of IOL calculations and his newest project, PLUS: Precision Ladas Universal Superalgorithm, allows any existing formula to be continuously improved with AI. For example, you can start with an already excellent formula such as Holladay or Barrett and then apply this technique to give Holladay PLUS or Barrett PLUS.”

I have a cameo appearance (seated on stage) during Dr. Ladas’ talk. Excellent big picture concepts with AI’s applicability to cataract surgery and IOL calculations.

3. EyeNet (November 2020) – AI in the Clinic: Eye Care’s Pioneering Use of Big Data. Excellent overview of AI and applications in the clinic.

4. Ting, DSJ, Ang, M, Mehta, JS, et al Artificial intelligence-assisted telemedicine platform for cataract screening and management: a potential model of care for global eye health. Br J Ophthalmol 2019; 103: 1537–1538.

5. Goh JHL, Lim ZW, Fang X, Anees A, Nusinovici S, Rim TH, Cheng CY, Tham YC. Artificial Intelligence for Cataract Detection and Management. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2020 Mar-Apr;9(2):88-95. doi: 10.1097/01.APO.0000656988.16221.04. PMID: 32349116.

6. Daniel S.W. Ting,Aaron Y. Lee,Tien Y. Wong. An Ophthalmologist’s Guide to Deciphering Studies in Artificial Intelligence. Ophthalmology, Volume 126, Issue 11, 1475 – 1479, November 2019.

7. On AAO Virtual, Mohamed F Abou Shousha MD presents his paper, “PA012 Multi-Disease Deep-Learning Neural Network for the Diagnosis of Corneal Diseases.” (Session OP01V: Cornea, External Disease Original Papers.) (I shared this link yesterday).

AI will transform ophthalmology and our daily lives in the years ahead. I hope these resources help you along this journey!

The listed articles are rich in references. Please send me other resource recommendations!

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