Boston Business Journal

Be careful asking ChatGPT questions about cancer, Brigham study says

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

As people everywhere become more accustomed to artificial intelligence chatbots, so do patients. But patients should be wary about turning to these platforms for clinical advice, according to a new study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Recognizing the growing popularity of these platforms, Brigham researchers assessed how consistently ChatGPT3.5 provided recommendations for cancer treatment that aligns with National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. 

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The result? ChatGPT gave inappropriate recommendations at times, leading Brigham experts to point to the limitations of such technology, and the need to continue consulting medical experts. 

Findings were published in JAMA Oncology on Thursday morning.

“Patients should feel empowered to educate themselves about their medical conditions, but they should always discuss with a clinician, and resources on the Internet should not be consulted in isolation,” said Dr. Danielle Bitterman, a corresponding author on the study. 

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