The III Eurasian Endoscopy forum, “UralEndo,” based in Yekaterinburg, took place on September 4–5, 2020. At this event Professor Jose Ramon Armengol-Miro gave a timely lecture on the role of standard endoscopy terminology in the rapidly approaching era of artificial intelligence (AI).

Artificial intelligence is the latest buzzword in the field of endoscopy, and AI will soon be another tool in the armamentarium of the endoscopist. Thus at “UralEndo,” the III Eurasian Endoscopy Forum, we were pleased to present a highly relevant lecture by Professor Jose Ramon Armengol-Miro on the part to be played by standard endoscopy terminology in this new context. The lecture was presented in virtual format at UralEndo, which was based in Yekaterinburg in the central areaof Russia at the border of Europe and Asia. The lecture was viewed online by over 3000 specialists because of the new “hybrid” format of the forum.

The fascinating presentation by Professor Armengol-Miro gave participants the feeling that they were watching a science fiction creation, such as Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which came out in 1978. Some of Adams’ fantastic ideas are becoming realities, and we all need to be knowledgeable about them as rapidly evolving adjuncts to endoscopy.

Being, in the field of endoscopy, a “grand master” and an artist (incidentally, a friend of Salvador Dali’s for 15 years), Professor Armengol-Miro teaches us the tremendous need for accurate use -of endoscopic terminology, but always to remember that there is a real patient behind every definition.  As an editor of the book Digestive Endoscopy, devoted to modern endoscopy terminology and now in its 7th edition, he has always been a proponent of precision, not only in advanced endoscopy but also in the use of a fundamental, universally accepted common language for specialists worldwide. 

Professor Armengol-Miro shared with us his own outstanding experience of endoscopy practice spanning more than 25 years. He discussed the evolution of machine learning with deep learning based on neural networks, and the use of neural networks for detection, identification, and characterization of the different polypoid lesions of the digestive tract. He assured us that AI will be an increasingly useful supporting tool for the physician but that it will never replace the human element.

Concluding this brief review, it should be pointed out that the purpose of Professor Armengol-Miro’s lecture was to expand our endoscopic horizons and to giveus a glimpse of a future which has already arrived. A video recording of the conference can downloaded via the following link:

Author: Programme director of forum “UralEndo” Marina A. Ivantsova, MD, PhD.