Simon Jones: The replacements

Simon Jones
We’ll all be replaced someday, it’s a question of whether it'll be by a human or machine

There’s a renewed buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) at the moment, mainly down the popularity of systems like ChatGPT. Whether it’s getting it to write rap lyrics in the style of Eminem, writing and performing a heartfelt song to a loved one on Valentine’s Day, or using it as the foundation of new search engines, everyone’s on the runaway AI train. The optical and eye health industry is no different.

For optometry, the potential of AI has been well documented up to now. Most optometrists will have already used a form of AI, possibly without realising, in devices such as optical coherence tomography, where the data captured is compared against a stored database to highlight results that are outside normal limits. AI’s potential in screening, especially with conditions like diabetic retinopathy, is also massive, and any barriers standing in the way of widespread adoption should be brought down swiftly.

The technology is also creeping into other parts of the sector. Eyewear designers are inputting their ideas and inspirations into visual-based AI platforms and being presented with renders of experimental designs. Not all of the elements of the AI’s designs are taken on board, but the creative process now takes less time, something that could speed up the rate at which eyewear is released.

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