By Benedict Mayaki
Technological advancements in the field of medicine point to a projected increase in the integration of AI in the management and provision of healthcare.
One open question in the field is how to accompany this important phenomenon with ethical guidance.
Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza, an Italian industrial bioengineer at the Santa’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, spoke to Vatican Radio about the issue, on the sidelines of a press conference launching the Vatican AI workshop on Tuesday.
Guarantee human dignity
Prof. Carrozza noted that ethics is important because of the expansion of AI in our lives and its potential misuse to commercialize the data of patients.
For this reason, she said, we must “guarantee human dignity, human access to healthcare mechanisms and ensure that the data of patients is used for good and not for bad – not for business.”
Bias in AI
Speaking on the issue of bias in artificial intelligence, she said the diagnostic and decision-making capacities of AI technologies are becoming more sophisticated but are subject to biases based on ethnic, cultural and religious categories.
It is therefore necessary to understand the algorithms in AI and how they work in order to develop programs that follow human ethical principles, according to Prof. Carrozza.
“You use human intelligence, sensitivities, sensibilities, and ethical principles to take final decisions,” she said. “We must know the process that was used in the making of decisions and even enter into the process. This is algor-ethics.”
Finally, Prof. Carrozza said AI and the ongoing digital transformation will surely change the number of jobs available to humans, as well as the type of work done. She said the answer is to retrain workers.
“Education and training is fundamental in order to prepare people for such a digital transformation and the future of work.”