The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of an algorithm for diabetic retinopathy (DR) in 2018 was the first approval of an autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and that’s not just in ophthalmology, or even just in medicine.1,2 It was the first true fully automated technology in a field that includes self-driving cars, manufacturing robots, and social media monitoring, says Michael D. Abràmoff, MD, PhD.

Since then, a wealth of ophthalmic research has shown the rapid development of these AI technologies to monitor diseases, identify their development preclinically, and even, in some cases, extend the role of the ophthalmologist into the realms of neurological and systemic disease.2