Societal issues concerning the application of artificial intelligence in medicine
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Medicine is becoming an increasingly data-centred discipline and, beyond classical statistical approaches, artificial intelligence (AI) and, in particular, machine learning (ML) are attracting much interest for the analysis of medical data. It has been argued that AI is experiencing a fast process of commodification. This characterization correctly reflects the current process of industrialization of AI and its reach into society. Therefore, societal issues related to the use of AI and ML should not be ignored any longer and certainly not in the medical domain. These societal issues may take many forms, but they all entail the design of models from a human-centred perspective, incorporating human-relevant requirements and constraints. In this brief paper, we discuss a number of specific issues affecting the use of AI and ML in medicine, such as fairness, privacy and anonymity, explainability and interpretability, but also some broader societal issues, such as ethics and legislation. We reckon that all of these are relevant aspects to consider in order to achieve the objective of fostering acceptance of AI- and ML-based technologies, as well as to comply with an evolving legislation concerning the impact of digital technologies on ethically and privacy sensitive matters. Our specific goal here is to reflect on how all these topics affect medical applications of AI and ML. This paper includes some of the contents of the “2nd Meeting of Science and Dialysis: Artificial Intelligence,” organized in the Bellvitge University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.
CitationVellido, A. Societal issues concerning the application of artificial intelligence in medicine. "Kidney diseases", Febrer 2019, vol. 5, núm. 1, p. 11-17.