One of the big use cases for AI, The use of artificial intelligence in medicine is generating great excitement and hope for treatment advances. But AI in medicine also raises significant legal and ethical challenges. Several of these are concerns about privacy, discrimination, psychological harm and the physician-patient relationship. In a forthcoming article, I argue that policymakers should establish a number of safeguards around AI, much as they did when genetic testing became commonplace.
AI generally refers to computers’ ability to mimic human intelligence and to learn. For example, by using machine learning, scientists are working to develop algorithms that will help them make decisions about cancer treatment. They hope that computers will be able to analyze radiological images and discern which cancerous tumors will respond well to chemotherapy and which will not. Potential for discrimination AI involves the analysis of very large amounts of data to discern patterns, which are then used to predict the likelihood of future occurrences. In medicine, the data sets can come from electronic health records and health insurance claims but also from several surprising sources. AI can draw upon purchasing records, income data, criminal records and even social media for information about an individual’s health.