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In Annals of global health

Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being increasingly applied, considerable distrust about introducing "disruptive" technologies persists. Intrinsic and contextual factors influencing where and how such innovations are introduced therefore require careful scrutiny to ensure that health equity is promoted. To illustrate one such critical approach, we describe and appraise an AI application - the development of computer assisted diagnosis (CAD) to support more efficient adjudication of compensation claims from former gold miners with occupational lung disease in Southern Africa. In doing so, we apply a bio-ethical lens that considers the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice and add explicability as a core principle. We draw on the AI literature, our research on CAD validation and process efficiency, as well as apprehensions of users and stakeholders. Issues of concern included AI accuracy, biased training of AI systems, data privacy, impact on human skill development, transparency and accountability in AI use, as well as intellectual property ownership. We discuss ways in which each of these potential obstacles to successful use of CAD could be mitigated. We conclude that efforts to overcoming technical challenges in applying AI must be accompanied from the onset by attention to ensuring its ethical use.

Spiegel Jerry M, Ehrlich Rodney, Yassi Annalee, Riera Francisco, Wilkinson James, Lockhart Karen, Barker Stephen, Kistnasamy Barry

2021