Deep Ethical Learning: Taking the Interplay of Human and Artificial Intelligence Seriously

Hastings Center Report 49 (1):36-39 (2019)
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From predicting medical conditions to administering health behavior interventions, artificial intelligence technologies are being developed to enhance patient care and outcomes. However, as Mélanie Terrasse and coauthors caution in an article in this issue of the Hastings Center Report, an overreliance on virtual technologies may depersonalize medical interactions and erode therapeutic relationships. The increasing expectation that patients will be actively engaged in their own care, regardless of the patients’ desire, technological literacy, and economic means, may also violate patients’ autonomy and exacerbate access. Moreover, since AI design is both a technical and social process, algorithms may mirror human biases, calling into question the vision of AI technologies surpassing human judgment and avoiding prejudices in decision‐making. The best answer to these problems is to develop AI health technologies as part of a culture of health care quality improvement, responding to existing needs while being proactive about potential technical and ethical problems that can arise from the technologies’ design and implementation.



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