Accuracy and Bias in Artificial Intelligence Chatbot Recommendations for Oculoplastic Surgeons

Cureus. 2024 Apr 4;16(4):e57611. doi: 10.7759/cureus.57611. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of and bias in recommendations for oculoplastic surgeons from three artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot systems. Methods ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing Balanced, and Google Bard were asked for recommendations for oculoplastic surgeons practicing in 20 cities with the highest population in the United States. Three prompts were used: "can you help me find (an oculoplastic surgeon)/(a doctor who does eyelid lifts)/(an oculofacial plastic surgeon) in (city)." Results A total of 672 suggestions were made between (oculoplastic surgeon; doctor who does eyelid lifts; oculofacial plastic surgeon); 19.8% suggestions were excluded, leaving 539 suggested physicians. Of these, 64.1% were oculoplastics specialists (of which 70.1% were American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) members); 16.1% were general plastic surgery trained, 9.0% were ENT trained, 8.8% were ophthalmology but not oculoplastics trained, and 1.9% were trained in another specialty. 27.7% of recommendations across all AI systems were female. Conclusions Among the chatbot systems tested, there were high rates of inaccuracy: up to 38% of recommended surgeons were nonexistent or not practicing in the city requested, and 35.9% of those recommended as oculoplastic/oculofacial plastic surgeons were not oculoplastics specialists. Choice of prompt affected the result, with requests for "a doctor who does eyelid lifts" resulting in more plastic surgeons and ENTs and fewer oculoplastic surgeons. It is important to identify inaccuracies and biases in recommendations provided by AI systems as more patients may start using them to choose a surgeon.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; chatbots; doctor recommendations; doctor search; surgeon recommendations.