Responsible nudging for social good: new healthcare skills for AI-driven digital personal assistants

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25 (1):11-22 (2022)
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Abstract

Traditional medical practices and relationships are changing given the widespread adoption of AI-driven technologies across the various domains of health and healthcare. In many cases, these new technologies are not specific to the field of healthcare. Still, they are existent, ubiquitous, and commercially available systems upskilled to integrate these novel care practices. Given the widespread adoption, coupled with the dramatic changes in practices, new ethical and social issues emerge due to how these systems nudge users into making decisions and changing behaviours. This article discusses how these AI-driven systems pose particular ethical challenges with regards to nudging. To confront these issues, the value sensitive design approach is adopted as a principled methodology that designers can adopt to design these systems to avoid harming and contribute to the social good. The AI for Social Good factors are adopted as the norms constraining maleficence. In contrast, higher-order values specific to AI, such as those from the EU High-Level Expert Group on AI and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, are adopted as the values to be promoted as much as possible in design. The use case of Amazon Alexa's Healthcare Skills is used to illustrate this design approach. It provides an exemplar of how designers and engineers can begin to orientate their design programs of these technologies towards the social good.

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