Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used to assist healthcare practitioners to deliver services to patients. It is outperforming doctors in some narrowly defined areas and improving rapidly and growing in scope. AI may even replace many healthcare roles as currently conceived.
One might even imagine a future where individuals will use yet-to-be invented personal devices to make what are currently regarded as health choices seamlessly with their other life choices, unmediated by traditionally conceived health professionals. Decisions that are filtered through a doctor’s interpretation of the patient’s best health interests will be a thing of the past. In such a future, individuals will be responsible for how they interact with their device – letting it control aspects of their life, nudge them, provide informative advice on demand, or suppressing certain information completely. Responsibility will rest with the autonomous patient. Technology companies will be responsible for the accuracy, equity and clarity of the information on which patients depend to make their decisions. Public services will be geared to those who lack the cognitive ability to use such devices effectively.
We are interested in exploring the ethical arguments for and against embracing a future such as this one.
We are curious about whether we can, or should, free ourselves from the professional values that have traditionally underpinned healthcare delivery.
We are committed to ensuring that we prepare our medical students for their future practice working alongside AI-health technology.
Robotics and AI for health and social care, 28 – 29 October 2019