Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to revolutionise healthcare but we must also recognise the potential risks and ethical dilemmas associated with it, writes Polat Goktas and Ricardo Simon Carbajo.
Over the past few years, Artificial Intelligence — especially large-language model applications such as ChatGPT (OpenAI – Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer) — has helped the healthcare sector make significant progress, opening up a range of new possibilities, ranging from predictive analysis of patient outcomes to customisation of treatments.
However, like all revolutionary technologies, these advancements are not without their complications. And the subject of maintaining ethical equilibrium in AI healthcare is becoming increasingly significant, particularly considering the European Union (EU)’s proposed regulations aimed at ensuring AI safety and transparency.
The European Parliament has approved its negotiating stance on the AI Act, securing 499 votes in support, 28 opposed, and 93 abstentions, guided by a dedication to ensure the technology aligns with EU rights and values, including principles of human oversight, safety, privacy, transparency, and social and environmental wellbeing. Specifically, the Parliament mandates:
- A full prohibition on AI applications for biometric surveillance, emotion recognition, and predictive policing;
- A requirement for generative AI systems, such as ChatGPT, to transparently inform users when the content has been generated by AI;
- A classification that AI systems, which can influence the outcomes of elections or voter behaviour, are considered to be high-risk AI, necessitating rigorous oversight and scrutiny.
Much like the challenge of understanding and placing trust in AI models, peeling back the layers of AI’s role in healthcare is a complex process. From concerns over data privacy to issues of algorithmic bias, it is clear that the adoption of AI in healthcare is not a straightforward path. It demands a balance of technological advancement and ethical insight, one that necessitates a careful, well-considered examination. Just as we must understand the potential of AI to revolutionise healthcare, we must also recognise the potential risks and ethical dilemmas associated with it.