Artificial intelligence and medical humanities

J Med Humanit

The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare has led to debates about the role of human clinicians in the increasingly technological contexts of medicine. Some researchers have argued that AI will augment the capacities of physicians and increase their availability to provide empathy and other uniquely human forms of care to their patients. The human vulnerabilities experienced in the healthcare context raise the stakes of new technologies such as AI, and the human dimensions of AI in healthcare have particular significance for research in the humanities. This article explains four key areas of concern relating to AI and the role that medical/health humanities research can play in addressing them: definition and regulation of “medical” versus “health” data and apps; social determinants of health; narrative medicine; and technological mediation of care. Issues include data privacy and trust, flawed datasets and algorithmic bias, racial discrimination, and the rhetoric of humanism and disability. Through a discussion of potential humanities contributions to these emerging intersections with AI, this article will suggest future scholarly directions for the field.

Ostherr K. Artificial intelligence and medical humanities. J Med Humanit. July 2020:1-22. doi:10.1007/s10912-020-09636-4

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