November 2, 2020 - The Ethics of Big Tech & Health Care in the Age of AI

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a general-purpose technology, and its potential applications in health care are numerous and diverse. Strategies for the regulation and governance of these diverse applications are only now emerging in health care and public health systems internationally. However, collaboration between health care delivery organizations and technology companies with AI capabilities, and the transfer of data from health care to industry that often accompanies such collaborations continues to occur. In this presentation, I draw on theory related to surveillance capitalism and innovation systems to present a case analysis of the role of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) in developing collaborations that advance their strategic presence in health-related AI innovation. I suggest that public trust is a prerequisite to enable the role of Big Tech in health-related AI innovation, and that if Big Tech does not find a way to contribute to public value, then resistance from the public will grow. I assess this situation from the perspective of global health ethics.

Jay Shaw: Research Director of ArtificiaI Intelligence, Ethics & Health at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB),  and Scientist at the Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Women's College Hospital. He has a status appointment as Assistant Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at U of T, and his research brings social science perspectives to both service innovation and digital innovation in health care.
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