2023 GS3 Answer

Q. Introduce the concept of Artificial Intelligence (Al). How does Al help clinical diagnosis? Do you perceive any threat to privacy of the individual in the use of Al in healthcare?

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS3 Paper

Model Answer: 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, and language understanding. AI has the ability to analyze complex medical data, predict patient trajectories, suggest treatments, and monitor patient responses.

AI in Clinical Diagnosis

AI has been increasingly used in clinical diagnosis. It helps in automating the diagnostic processes, thereby reducing the workload of healthcare professionals. For instance, AI algorithms can analyze radiological images and detect abnormalities such as tumors or fractures. They can also analyze pathological slides and identify cancerous cells.

Moreover, AI can analyze large amounts of data from electronic health records to identify patterns that might indicate a disease. For instance, IBM’s Watson for Oncology uses AI to analyze a patient’s medical information and provide treatment options based on up-to-date evidence.

AI can also be used in predictive analytics. For example, Google’s DeepMind Health uses AI to predict the deterioration of patients with certain conditions, enabling timely interventions.

Threat to Privacy in the Use of AI in Healthcare

While AI holds immense potential in improving healthcare, it also raises concerns about privacy. AI systems require access to large amounts of personal health data, which could be misused if not properly protected. For instance, there have been concerns about third parties using health data for targeted advertising or discrimination.

Moreover, AI algorithms are often ‘black boxes’, meaning that it is difficult to understand how they make decisions. This lack of transparency could lead to decisions being made based on sensitive information, such as genetic data, without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

Indian Perspective

In India, AI is being increasingly used in healthcare. For instance, AI is being used to predict the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in rural areas. It is also being used to improve tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment.

However, India currently lacks a comprehensive data protection law, which makes the privacy concerns related to AI even more significant. Moreover, the lack of digital literacy among many Indians makes them more vulnerable to privacy violations.


In conclusion, while AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, it is essential to address the privacy concerns associated with its use. This requires not only robust data protection laws but also efforts to increase digital literacy and transparency in how AI systems work.

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