Debate on AI Ethics

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an important turning point in radiology, the ethical aspects are debatable.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) together with the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) and other imaging societies together published a draft document entailing the future of AI and its ethical uses.

The European Society of Radiology, European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics, RSNA, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and Canadian Association of Radiologists worked together to establish the consensus document – Ethics of AI in Radiology: European and North American Multisociety Statement.”

The document states, “While AI promises to improve quality, efficiency, and patient outcomes, and reduce costs, it will also produce new possibilities, consequences, and questions for both patients and the radiology community. These issues will be shaped as much by the community’s ethics as by technical factors.”

The American College of Radiology has asked for comments, which may be submitted by April 15, 2019.

Three Areas of AI Ethics

There are three major areas of AI ethics to consider:

  • Ethics related to data is the primary area to consider. It includes informed consent, ownership, data privacy, patient data transaction and several other social as well as technical issues related to biases.
  • Ethics related to algorithms is important as it implies considerations to authenticate the safety of use and morality
  • Ethics of practices such as practice-level policies is also an integral part of AI. Doing the things for patients and minimizing inequalities related to resources or potential gain is the key.

All those taking interest in AI technology and affected by it, including radiologists and patients, and other radiology communities, may review this draft. Patient advocates and experts in the fields of law, ethics, data science, and data privacy are encouraged to submit their comments. The comments submitted shall be helpful in preparing the final document, which is likely to publish in November 2019.

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