Artificial intelligence in healthcare robots: A social informatics study of knowledge embodiment
Published on Apr 1, 2019in Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology2.738
· DOI :10.1002/ASI.24145
Knowledge embodiment, taking a social informatics perspective, refers to the transformation of knowledge into a form in which its value becomes evident. Knowledge embodiment in robotic systems with artificial intelligence (AI robotic systems) actualizes the value of knowledge much more powerfully than other entities, potentially altering the connections among people or even displacing professionals. To understand the effects of knowledge embodiment in AI robotic systems on connections among people and technology, this study addresses 2 cumulative research questions: (i) What is the nature of knowledge embodiment, that is, how are knowledge and AI robots assembled for knowledge work? (ii) How does knowledge embodiment affect connections among people and technology (that is, social informatics)? A case study of a large hospital that has employed different AI robotic systems in many parts of its healthcare service provision process indicates 4 forms of knowledge embodiment, each with a distinct focus. Further, a social informatics analysis suggests four ways knowledge embodiment affects connections among people and technology and reveals related social and institutional issues that go beyond technological determinism. Implications of these findings for research on social informatics and information science are discussed.