AI could be a threat to health new report claims

AI could be a threat to health new report claims

AI could be a threat to health new report claims.This work is free software; you can redistribute it or modify it under the terms of the CeCILL. The terms of the CeCILL license are available at Credit: Rama/

According to health professionals writing in the journal BMJ Global, AI could be a risk to health.

The authors of the piece from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica and Malaysia said that although AI had the potential to revolutionise healthcare by improving disease diagnosis it could also harm the health of millions of people and pose an existential threat to humanity.

The risks involved in using AI intelligence in healthcare include errors that could cause patients harm and problems with data privacy and security.

They gave an example of the harm that could be done to a patient by highlighting the use of AI-driven pulse oximeters. These devices overestimate blood oxygen levels in patients with darker skin. This could result in a patient failing to seek treatment or being undertreated for hypoxia.

The article also said: “When combined with the rapidly improving ability to distort or misrepresent reality with deep fakes, AI-driven information systems may further undermine democracy by causing a general breakdown in trust by driving social division and conflict, with ensuing public health impacts.”

Risks are also present as AI technology replaces people’s jobs and the article goes on to say: “While there would be many benefits from ending work that is repetitive, dangerous and unpleasant, we already know that unemployment is strongly associated with adverse health outcomes and behaviour.”

They also noted that machines can use their intelligence and power, deliberately or not in ways that could harm or subjugate humans and that the window of opportunity to avoid serious harm is closing.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.