Machine Learning Times
Machine Learning Times

1 year ago
Research Summary: Health Care, Capabilities, and AI Assistive Technologies

Originally published in MAIEI, May 3, 2020.

The adoption of AI-enabled solutions in the healthcare industry has accelerated with the ongoing pandemic and while there are a lot of concerns raised, most quite aptly, there is a need to evaluate these concerns in firm moral principles and foundations before dismissing these solutions as not meeting our high standards of care. Another argument put forth is the potential replacement of human carers by the use of such technologies to the detriment of the quality of care that would otherwise be provided to patients.

However, this overlooks the fact that already due to high burdens on the healthcare sector, often care is quite low-touch and distanced thus not creating that much of a difference. In fact, AI-enabled solutions might even provide an opportunity for improving the healthcare outcomes by automating routine and repetitive tasks minimizing the burnout experienced by healthcare professionals and enabling them to concentrate their efforts on the aspects that are not yet replicable by machines.

This paper provides more examples where it does a careful evaluation of the tradeoffs between the use of technology and achieving some of the aims of realizing a good life as characterized by the capabilities approach. Especially, in a time where there is a rush towards picking a solution and deploying it within the healthcare industry to combat the surge in care demand because of COVID-19, the paper offers some guidelines rooted in theory with practical applications for making a choice that is well-informed.

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