Nothing new under the sun: Medical professional maintenance in the face of artificial intelligence's disruption

Netta Avnoon*, Amalya L. Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper follows the reaction of the radiology profession to artificial intelligence (AI). We examine the effort of radiology as a powerful medical specialty to maintain its professional jurisdiction while allowing AI's disruption. We study the discursive work of radiologists as evident in their academic publications. Our results suggest that radiologists hold simultaneously multiple perspectives in regard to AI, which allow them to be both conservative and innovative in their relations to it: accept it, subordinate it, reject it and surrender to it, all the same time. These perspectives are: (a) to integrate AI tools and skills into the radiology profession by cooperating and coproducing with AI experts while preserving the core values and structures of the radiology profession; (b) to absorb AI into radiology as (yet another) technology, subordinating it to radiologists’ authority; (c) to fight-off the threat made by AI by undermining the legitimacy and capabilities of AI in radiology and strengthening professional boundaries and (d) to assimilate the radiology profession into the field of AI. These perspectives enable radiologists as a powerful medical specialty to engage in a rhetorical dance with the equally powerful AI specialty and challenge techno-optimistic approaches to innovation.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • artificial intelligence
  • Institutional maintenance
  • professions
  • radiology


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