Researchers examine the ethical implications of AI in surgical settings
A new whitepaper coauthored by researchers at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence examines the ethics of AI in surgery, making the case that surgery and AI carry similar expectations but diverge with respect to ethical understanding. In surgery, AI applications are largely confined to machines performing tasks controlled entirely by surgeons. AI might also be used in a clinical decision support system, and in these circumstances, the burden of responsibility falls on the human designers of the machine or AI system, the coauthors argue. AI learns to make predictions from large data sets — specifically patient data, in the case of surgical systems — and it’s often described as being at odds with privacy-preserving practices. And international frameworks like the EU’s General Privacy Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aim to give consumers greater control over personal data collection and use.