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​David Magnus: How will artificial intelligence impact medical ethics?

In recent years, the explosion of artificial intelligence in medicine has yielded an increase in hope for patient outcomes, balanced by an equal concern for ethical implications.​

Looking at a hospital bed through a doorway

AI is in our phones and cars. Is it any surprise that it’s also in our hospitals and doctor’s offices? | Reuters/Mike Blake

Professor David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, says that artificial intelligence and machine learning are reshaping the landscape of medical care, but the underlying algorithms and the overarching challenges of how to employ the data are begetting new and vexing ethical questions.

Magnus explains that concerns begin with who designs, builds and pays for the algorithms and whether the ultimate goal of AI is better outcomes for patients, or better bottom lines for providers. The ethical dilemmas only grow from there as experts consider what data is incorporated, how it is gathered and what short cuts medical decision makers might take when interpreting the lessons AI reveals.

The good news, Magnus says, is that medical AI offers many profound positive benefits, but to realize them successfully the profession must grapple now with the ethical dilemmas in order to avoid pitfalls.

Join host Russ Altman and guest bioethicist David Magnus for a sobering look at the future of artificial intelligence in medicine.

You can listen to the Future of Everything on iTunes, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher or via Stanford Engineering Magazine.