Human-Centered AI: Experts Dig Into the Future of Healthcare and the Workforce

Perhaps the new saying for working with artificial intelligence should be: do no harm. This is according to testimonies at recent court hearing conducted by the US Chamber AI Commission in Cleveland, OH. The Commission heard from expert panels from civil society, government, academia and industry on the impact of AI on healthcare and the workforce.

“When we graduated from medical school, I didn’t take an oath to heal patients… The only oath we took was to do no harm. Do you know why we take this oath? We can harm people,” said Dr. Serpil Erzurum, MD, director of research and studies at the Cleveland Clinic, in testimony before the Commission. “We have people in this room who are going to have to make these political decisions [on AI]…we have to respect this oath to “do no harm”, because the patient is a vulnerable person. »

AI exists for the good of humans, helping us with our tasks, improving our quality of life and allowing us to reach new heights. In weighing the benefits and risks of AI, we can’t forget that at the heart of artificial intelligence are human beings – that’s the message from the experts in Cleveland, Ohio. “The value of an AI algorithm is not in its academic and scientific sophistication,” said Dr. Lara Jehi, MD, research information manager at the Cleveland Clinic. “Its value lies in what it actually does to help people, and what it ultimately actually does to improve health care.”

“Scaling the good we can bring to people’s lives is imperative, not because it’s a business imperative, it’s an ethical imperative,” said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic, in his keynote address. .

Reportedly, AI has helped improve healthcare in countless ways, not only helping patients and healthcare providers, but also reducing inequities, costs and inefficiencies. “Without these algorithms, [nurses] had to give up everything they were doing to focus on [COVID-19]said Dr. Jehi. “The algorithms we created were the tool that allowed them to prioritize, allowed us to reach the sickest patients when they really needed us.”

On how AI provided insights that allowed them to deliver better and more equitable care, she added: “We saw how the infection rate was growing at a much faster rate in our neighborhoods. underprivileged here around us…and because of that, we’ve finished taking action as a health system to make our care more equitable across the region. We literally sent buses to these neighborhoods and offered COVID testing. We have teams in place to be available to ensure these patients are reconnected to our system. »

Carly Eckert, Executive Vice President of Olive, highlighted how AI can help address inefficiencies: wasted in inefficient or unnecessary services… There is a real opportunity to use automation where humans are not needed.This can increase productivity, reduce errors made by humans and avoid costly mistakes. It also frees up our human workers to really do the tasks we are best at. It allows us to harness creativity to solve complex problems.

At the same time, using AI in healthcare does not mean removing the human factor. As Dr. Jehi testified, “There was a person with judgment who watched what the AI ​​algorithms were doing and made the final decision. But that human’s job was so much easier because of what the algorithms of AI have provided upstream, and that’s the piece that can’t be lost in all of this.

On the other hand, healthcare providers also listed confidentiality, impersonality and bias as potential drawbacks of AI-based healthcare systems. “Regulation, privacy and confidentiality are essential, but they should not come at the expense of discovery,” Dr Jehi said.

On the impact of AI on the workforce, experts highlighted AI’s ability to create new opportunities, while warning of its likely effect in displacing many jobs and labor. economy in general. As Ben Ko, Managing Director of Kaleidoscope Innovation and Product Design testified, “AI is often maligned as a job taker… How do we see it not only as a job creator but also as a focal point? job? Humans do what humans do best.

“We are seeing a tremendous workforce update for this type of technology. Rather than a disruptor, we believe this is actually additive technology that will help the American workforce,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CEO of the XR Association.

Simultaneously,“We need to be aware of where the gains from these systems go,” warned Almutwakel Hassan, a statistics and machine learning student at CMU. “The wealth gap in the country has grown, and the massive deployment of AI systems will almost certainly widen the gap between the wealthiest and the median American, if steps are not taken to prevent it.”

“We have to ask ourselves if, as a society, we want AI automation to be designed as a way to replace people’s jobs to increase profit margins, or if we want the automation of AI is designed as a way to improve people’s working conditions and quality of life,” he said.

To prepare the workforce for an AI-driven economy, experts have highlighted the need for education and training across industry and academia and across all age groups. Cheryl Oldham, vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation, pleaded with the Commission to remember the importance of the K-12 system. “If we try to tackle our workforce challenges starting after high school, we fail.”

“Most of the AI ​​programs that exist are relegated to after-school programs, summer camps, and schools that have the resources to deliver technology education through the lens of computing,” said Alex Kotran, CEO of the AI ​​Education Project. “The challenge is that computer science is an imperfect vehicle for learning AI, because many schools have no computer science teachers. And even schools that have computer science teachers don’t have access fair to these programs.

“If we want to be a tech-savvy workforce, if we want our kids ready to compete in an advanced 21st century manufacturing economy and equipped with the skills for jobs that haven’t even been invented, we need to do a better job in Ohio and across the United States to integrate computer science provision at the K-12 level,” said Rick Carfagna, vice president of government affairs at the Chamber of Commerce. of Ohio, in his remarks.

Oldham added, “We need to do two things: we need to minimize any negative disruption, and then we need to put AI to work for the American workforce… We need to proactively look at the development of the workforce and make it more genuinely employer-led. , if we want to minimize labor market disruptions while creating efficient new pathways that will lead to AI-related jobs. »

Closing the testimonies, Hassan advised the Commission to broaden its scope: “I specifically ask you to speak to university students as well, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, as these students are the future leaders of the field, and we are going to be the ones looking for the innovations for the technology in the future.

To continue to explore critical AI issues, the US Chamber AI Commission will hold further on-site hearings in the US and abroad to hear from experts on a range of topics. The next hearing will take place at Palo Alto, California, examining the benefits of AI, America’s global competitiveness, the future of work, and concerns about bias. The final hearing will take place in London on June 13.

Learn more about the AI ​​Commission here.

About the authors

Michael Richards

Michael Richards

Director, Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Technology Engagement (C_TEC)

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