The ethical, social and political challenges of using artificial intelligence in healthcare

For the current funding round of Seed Awards in Humanities and Social Science, we are only accepting applications that explore the ethical, social and political challenges of using of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and biomedical research.

The deadline for these applications is 26 June 2018.

The ever-increasing use of AI represents a major change in healthcare and biomedical research.

Although there is much excitement about this change, its implications for society have not been properly explored. 

We have commissioned a report from Future Advocacy that identifies many ethical, social and political challenges resulting from the use of AI in healthcare and biomedical research.

Applicants should read Future Advocacy’s report before they apply: Ethical, social and political challenges of artificial intelligence in health [PDF 5MB]

In the report, Future Advocacy identifies the following ethical, social and political challenges: 

  1. What effect will AI have on human relationships in health and care?
  2. How is the use, storage and sharing of medical data impacted by AI?
  3. What are the implications of issues around algorithmic transparency and explainability on health?
  4. Will these technologies help eradicate or exacerbate existing health inequalities?
  5. What is the difference between an algorithmic decision and a human decision?
  6. What do patients and members of the public want from AI and related technologies?
  7. How should these technologies be regulated?
  8. Just because these technologies could enable access to new information, should we always use it?
  9. What makes algorithms, and the entities that create them, trustworthy?
  10. What are the implications of collaboration between public and private sector organisations in the development of these tools?

Proposals can address the challenges identified in the report, or other challenges.

We welcome applications from any discipline, or interdisciplinary approach, in the humanities or social sciences.

To find out more about eligibility and suitability, what we offer and how to apply, go to Seed Awards in Humanities and Social Science.

For more information read ‘Can AI improve health for everyone? We want to fund research to find out’ by Dan O’Connor, head of Wellcome’s Humanities and Social Science team.