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AI poses existential threat and risk to health of millions, experts warn

AI could harm the health of millions and pose an existential threat to humanity, doctors and public health experts have said as they called for a halt to the development of artificial general intelligence until it is regulated.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by improving diagnosis of diseases, finding better ways to treat patients and extending care to more people.

But the development of artificial intelligence also has the potential to produce negative health impacts, according to health professionals from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica and Malaysia writing in the journal BMJ Global Health.

The risks associated with medicine and healthcare “include the potential for AI errors to cause patient harm, issues with data privacy and security and the use of AI in ways that will worsen social and health inequalities”, they said.

One example of harm, they said, was the use of an AI-driven pulse oximeter that overestimated blood oxygen levels in patients with darker skin, resulting in the undertreatment of their hypoxia.

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Source: The Guardian, 10 May 2023


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