• Alec Balasescu

Will Computers Decide Who Lives and Who Dies?

While talk about a post-COVID-19 world is ripe, reflecting more the desire for an economic relaunch than the medical reality of the moment, we are still struggling to understand the effects that the pandemic is having on our societies. Those ripple effects are likely both to outlive the pandemic, and even to make themselves visible after the pandemic has hopefully been eradicated.

One of the conversations that has emerged most clearly is linked to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare, and concerns both its effectiveness and its ethics. This article will follow two major ethical questions that have dominated the public sphere up to now: the use of data tracking systems for forecasting viral spread, and the possible use of AI as decision support for the allocation of medical resources in emergency situations. The main question underpinning this article is: how will our approach to these challenges impact our future?

Exploring the possible answers to this question (here) will lead us to analyze the impact of the dynamic socio-cultural environment on the predictive capacities of algorithm-based AI models. The article will emphasize the importance of integrating culturally specific dimensions in developing and deploying AI-s, and discuss how to approach ethics as applied to AI in a culturally aware manner.

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©2019 by Alec Balasescu