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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field that is touching or will touch nearly every element of modern life. One of the biggest areas of potential impact for AI is in health care, and there has been growing interest in understanding and evaluating how AI can affect different specialties across medicine. Although radiology and pathology have thus far been leading the charge in developing and adopting AI, other specialties are in hot pursuit. Surgery is one field with tremendous potential for disruption by AI. While there is no replacement for the formal study of a field through graduate education or research fellowships, we feel it is important for clinicians, educators, and researchers in surgery to gain an understanding of the fundamental topics, concepts, techniques, and considerations that go into research and development in AI in order to better understand its current abilities and future potential.

The overall objective of this book is to provide an approachable resource on AI to those in surgery who do not necessarily have a technical background in mathematics, engineering, or computer science. It will provide a foundation of knowledge on the history, principles, and main subfields of AI. It will then provide examples of current and near future use cases for AI in surgery and then transition to a discussion of the ethical implications of AI and its potential impact on health policy. Finally, it will provide those interested in AI research with an introduction to the practical aspects underlying research in the field to help readers develop a foundation in reading and interpreting existing work and to seek further education and training to grow as a surgical data scientist.

We are excited to be part of your journey in exploring the bright future of this field!

Daniel A. Hashimoto, MD, MS
Ozanan R. Meireles, MD
Guy Rosman, PhD

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