Leadership and Ministry
PHOTO: TARA WINSTEAD, PEXELS
AI ethics in healthcare
Artificial Intelligence promises great advances in healthcare. We must raise ethical questions about its effect on our understanding of the human person for it to be for our good, writes Christopher M. Wojtulewicz.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a burgeoning area of research and development. Its impact is universal, and so every branch of knowledge has a stake in its concerns. If AI does not already affect every aspect of human life, such a situation is not far into the future. Prominent among the disciplines which deal with AI is ethics, and more specifically, the ethics of healthcare. This is a fast-moving area. The swift implementation of health apps during the Covid-19 pandemic serves as a good example of the rate of change, but there are also advances in surgery, mental health treatment, diagnosis and other areas of healthcare thanks to AI. AI has the potential to speed things up and make things more efficient. But ethical analyses of AI developments must keep apace, and this can prove to be difficult.
In recent years, the cogs have been turning on the production of AI ethics guidelines. In 2019, the European Union’s High-Level Expert Group on AI produced ‘Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence’. In the same year, the Alan Turing Institute, in partnership with the UK Government, produced the document Understanding artificial intelligence ethics and safety: A guide for the responsible design and implementation of AI systems in the public sector
6 | Pastoral Review Vol. 18 Issue 3 | July/August/September 2022