A Global Human Rights Approach to Medical Artificial Intelligence

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The use and development of algorithms in health care, including machine learning, contributes to the discovery of better treatments for patients and offers promising perspectives in the fight against cancer and other diseases. Yet, algorithms are not a neutral health product since they are programmed by humans, with the risk of propagating human rights infringements. In the medical area, human rights impact assessments need to be conducted for applications involving AI. Apart from offering a consistent and transversal substantive approach to AI, human rights law, and in particular the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, would allow the targeting of all stakeholders, including the corporations developing health care algorithms. Such an approach would establish a chain of duties and responsibilities bringing more transparency and consistency in the overall process of developing AI and its later uses. Although this approach would not solve all AI challenges, it would offer a framework for discussion with all relevant actors, including vulnerable populations. An increase in human rights education of medical doctors and data scientists, and further collaboration at the initial stages of algorithm development would greatly contribute to the creation of a human rights culture in the techno-science space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAI in eHealth : Human Autonomy, Data Governance and Privacy in Healthcare
EditorsMarcelo Corrales, Michael Lowery Wilson, Mark Fenwick, Nikolaus Forgó, Till Bärnighausen
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date2022
Pages277 - 308
ISBN (Print)9781108830966
ISBN (Electronic)9781108921923
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesCambridge Bioethics and Law

ID: 308752818