Artificial Intelligence: Medical Experts Call for Regulations
Following the recent call by Silicon Valley technology leaders for the regulation of artificial intelligence, medical experts from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica, and Malaysia have now joined in the call for the regulation of AI in healthcare. Although AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by improving diagnosis, treatment, and care, the experts warn that AI development also poses potential health risks. In an article published in BMJ Global Health, the experts cited issues of data privacy and security, AI bugs that can harm patients, and the exacerbation of social and health inequalities as some of the reasons why AI regulations are necessary in healthcare.
The experts cited an example where AI could harm patients. They mentioned the use of an AI-driven pulse oximeter that overestimates blood oxygen levels in darker-skinned patients, leading to inadequate treatment of their hypoxia. They also raised concerns about broader, global threats to human existence from AI, such as the use of lethal autonomous weapons and the mental health effects of mass unemployment if AI-based systems displace a significant number of workers.
The experts’ call for AI regulation is necessary to prevent such threats from materializing. As AI-based healthcare systems continue to advance, the experts urge policymakers to take action to ensure these systems are safe, validated, and inclusive. They recommend establishing a global governance framework to guide ethical AI development and application, investing in AI literacy to develop a workforce capable of integrating AI into healthcare systems, and promoting transparency and openness in AI development and governance.
In conclusion, the potential benefits of AI in healthcare are enormous, but so are the potential risks. Therefore, it is essential to regulate AI to ensure it is used safely and responsibly in healthcare. The call to regulate AI in healthcare should be taken seriously by policymakers worldwide.