Amazon exec: Use AI ethically

Taha Kass-Hout, senior leader of healthcare and AI at Amazon, recently noted the technology and e-commerce giant sees potential in developing healthcare-related AI tools. In an interview with STAT, Kass-Hout didn't divulge many secrets about Amazon's activities with AI, but did talk about certain areas of focus, noting researchers have uncovered “tangible uses of AI." The company's steps in the space have been widely watched across the AI in healthcare sector. 

In the past year, there’s been an uptick in research papers that utilize AI in new ways. However, he believes some AI tools have been overhyped.

"I'm really happy to see that in 2018, a lot of that dust settled and we started to see real, concrete examples of its use," he told STAT at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orland in February, as cited by CNBC.

Specifically, Kass-Hout cited a machine learning service for health information launched by Amazon in 2018. He also stated that utilizers of AI should ensure its ethical use, as it may worsen social inequities. AI could also be used on those who are “worried well,” instead of the truly sick and needy, he warned.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also highlighted how AI is capable of racial bias.

To mitigate the ethical use problem, religious organizations including the Vatican and Microsoft have organized competitions aiming to encourage ethics in AI. Even Facebook awarded $7.5 million in funding over a five-year period to help establish an independent research center dedicated to the ethics of AI.

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