Massachusetts governor warns healthcare execs to be realistic about AI

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a piece of cautionary advice to healthcare executives April 8, urging them to take the recent rise of AI with a grain of salt, the Boston Business Journal reported.

Baker, a former health insurance executive and health and human services chief under Gov. William Weld, warned attendees of the Partners HealthCare World Medical Innovation Forum in Boston that while AI can certainly contribute to better health outcomes, researchers need to be careful in the way they roll out the tech.

“My advice is to recognize and understand the people in healthcare get held to a higher standard,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. And that’s not a bad thing, because people believe in you and what you’re capable of and what you can do.”

The process of developing reputable, reliable AI could suffer under that microscope. Baker, who’s familiar with the investment side of AI, said innovators are eager to get their solutions to market but are often unable to deliver solid results in the timeframe they predicted.

Baker said he’s a “big believer in the deployment of technology,” but warned researchers to be realistic about both the capabilities of their innovations and their potential shortcomings.

“I just hope I’m alive long enough to benefit from your ability to deploy all this stuff, to deliver higher outcomes, better results for really complicated people who are dealing with really difficult things,” he said.

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