Navigating the ethical landscape of AI in healthcare

Navigating the ethical landscape of AI in healthcare

Navigating the ethical landscape of AI in healthcare
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In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, artificial intelligence stands as both hero and villain. Its promise of efficiency and accuracy is marred by the lurking specter of bias, especially in the delicate realm of healthcare.

So, buckle up, dear readers, as we embark on a rollercoaster ride through the wild world of AI and ethics, where laughter meets seriousness, and where the absurdity of biases meets the gravity of healthcare.

In the bustling city of Techville, the future unfolds daily, with advancements in AI revolutionizing industries. However, behind the marvels lies a shadow: the issue of bias. Today, we delve into the heart of this matter, focusing on its implications in the realm of healthcare.

As I walked through the corridors of TechMed, a state-of-the-art hospital, I couldn’t help but ponder the ethical implications of AI in healthcare. Dr. Emily, a seasoned physician, shared her insights, stating, “While AI promises efficiency and precision, it’s crucial to acknowledge its potential biases, particularly in medical diagnoses.”

Picture this: Dr. Watson, the AI wizard, struts into the hospital, armed with algorithms and a penchant for diagnosing ailments quicker than you can say “hypochondriac.” But alas, even our dear Dr. Watson isn’t immune to the pitfalls of bias. Take poor Mr. Johnson, for instance. He came into the clinic complaining of a tummy ache, only to be diagnosed with a case of “pizza-itis” by the ever-enthusiastic AI, which had been fed a steady diet of fast-food-related data.

Needless to say, Mr. Johnson’s gluten intolerance wasn’t part of the algorithm’s repertoire.

But fear not, for amid the chaos, there are voices of reason. Dr. Emily, the wise sage of the medical world, warns, “While AI can be a game-changer, we must be vigilant about the biases lurking within its circuits. After all, nobody wants to be prescribed kale smoothies for a broken leg.”

We must hold AI accountable for its biases, for in the realm of healthcare, there’s no room for error.

Rafael Hernández de Santiago

Meet Ms. Smith, a diligent worker and devoted mother. She sought medical advice for her persistent headaches. The AI algorithm swiftly diagnosed her with stress-related issues, prescribing medication accordingly. However, Ms. Smith’s condition worsened, ultimately leading to a severe neurological disorder. The AI had overlooked critical symptoms, influenced by biased data sets skewed toward stress-related diagnoses in working women.

As Ms. Smith’s story unfolded, it echoed a prevalent concern: the impact of biased algorithms on patient outcomes. Dr. Patel, an advocate for AI ethics, emphasized, “We must scrutinize the data feeding these algorithms to prevent such oversights.”

As we navigate the minefield of AI biases, we can’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all. From gender biases leading to misdiagnoses to racial disparities in treatment recommendations, the comedy of errors is as vast as the datasets themselves. But beneath the laughter lies a sobering reality: Lives hang in the balance, and the consequences of biased algorithms can be dire.

Enter Dr. Patel, the comic relief in our tale, with his witty retorts and a knack for cutting through the nonsense. “It’s like letting a toddler loose in a candy store,” he quips. “Sure, it’s fun at first, but someone’s bound to end up with a stomachache.”

Yet, amid the laughter, there’s a call to action. Dr. Kim, the voice of reason in our comedic ensemble, urges us to take a stand. “We must hold AI accountable for its biases,” she declares, “for in the realm of healthcare, there’s no room for error.”

In the pursuit of ethical AI, collaboration is key. Tech giants, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and ethicists must unite to establish stringent guidelines and oversight mechanisms. Transparency in algorithmic decision-making and continuous monitoring of biases are essential steps toward ethical AI implementation in healthcare.

As the sun set over Techville, illuminating the skyline, I pondered the path ahead. The journey to ethical AI in healthcare is fraught with challenges, but with unwavering commitment and collective action, we can pave the way for a future where technology serves all, without bias or prejudice.

And so, dear readers, as we bid adieu to our cast of characters and the absurdity of AI biases, let us heed the words of wisdom from the great Arab philosopher, Ibn Khaldun: “In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?” Let us strive for a future where AI serves as a beacon of hope, untainted by bias, and where healthcare remains a sanctuary for all, regardless of algorithms gone awry.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view

Olympics- “Islamist terrorism” main concern ahead of Paris Games, city's police chief says

Olympics- “Islamist terrorism” main concern ahead of Paris Games, city's police chief says
Updated 9 min 51 sec ago
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Olympics- “Islamist terrorism” main concern ahead of Paris Games, city's police chief says

Olympics- “Islamist terrorism” main concern ahead of Paris Games, city's police chief says

PARIS: “Islamist terrorism” is the main security worry ahead of the upcoming Paris Olympics, the French capital’s chief of police Laurent Nunez said on Friday.
France is on its highest level of security alert as the Games approach, with the country additionally preparing for snap legislative elections at the end of June.
French authorities also recently foiled an attack on a sports stadium in another French city.
“Islamist terrorism remains our main concern,” Nunez told a press conference seven weeks before the Olympics opening ceremony, which will be held on and along the River Seine on July 26.
“There is no clear-cut threat yet against the Games and our country but I’d like to remind you that at the end of May, two individuals were arrested in Saint-Etienne and were plotting a project aimed directly at the Olympic Games.
“The terrorist threat remains just as important as the protest threat posed by radical environmental groups, the ultra left and the pro-Palestinian movement,” Nunez said.
Last month, an 18-year-old Chechen man was arrested in the city of Saint-Etienne, suspected of planning an attack in the name of Islamic State at the city’s soccer stadium during the Olympics.


An ex-gun lobbyist is revising New Zealand’s gun laws, tightened after the 2019 mosque attack

An ex-gun lobbyist is revising New Zealand’s gun laws, tightened after the 2019 mosque attack
Updated 20 min 5 sec ago
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An ex-gun lobbyist is revising New Zealand’s gun laws, tightened after the 2019 mosque attack

An ex-gun lobbyist is revising New Zealand’s gun laws, tightened after the 2019 mosque attack
  • McKee, a former gun lobbyist, says she will examine all parts of the law, including restrictions on semiautomatic guns

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s government will overhaul the tighter gun laws introduced after a deadly mass shooting by a white supremacist five years ago, because they put excessive burdens on gun owners who feel vilified by law enforcement and the public, the lawmaker leading the changes said.
“What’s happened is a massive change with massive penalties and targets on people who didn’t do anything wrong,” Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee — a lobbyist for gun owners before she entered Parliament in 2020 — told The Associated Press in an interview this week. Every part of the law will be scrutinized, including the restrictions that bar all but a few hundred New Zealanders from firing banned semiautomatic weapons, she said.
McKee’s pledge of a wide-ranging review — following an earlier announcement that she would ease rules for gun clubs — was applauded by groups representing the country’s 250,000 license holders and decried by survivors of the 2019 attack at two Christchurch mosques where an Australian man opened fire on Muslim worshippers, killing 51 people.
“It makes me scared for our futures,” Temel Ataçocuğu — who was shot nine times in the attack and fears an erosion of the assault weapon ban — told the AP. “What have the past five years been for? How are they going to prevent this from happening again?”
New Zealand drew global admiration when its then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said six days after the massacre that her government would outlaw all semiautomatic weapons. The change was approved by 119 lawmakers with only one opposed, and sweeping reforms followed: bolstered licensing requirements, more rules for gun clubs, and the creation of a firearms registry.
The changes introduced “onerous regulatory compliance,” said McKee, whose political party, Act, campaigned for New Zealand’s 2023 election on a platform for reversing many of them. Now in government as part of a center-right coalition, McKee pledged to update the law before the next election in 2026.
Her bloc has enough lawmakers to easily pass any reforms in the face of any resistance from the parliamentary opposition.
“The changes we made off the back of March 15 took military-style semi-automatic weapons off the street and made our communities safer,” said Ginny Andersen, a lawmaker for Labour — the largest opposition party, previously led by Ardern. “Making those guns more accessible will take New Zealand backwards.”
McKee’s consultation was a “box ticking exercise, with a select group and a very short time for responses,” Andersen said in her emailed statement.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, whose party is in government with McKee’s, did not answer AP’s requests for comment.
McKee said she would consult with the public before deciding specific measures and that her personal views would not direct the overhaul. Critics rejected that.
“She was elected as a gun lobbyist, that was her role,” said Chris Cahill, president of the Police Association, a group representing most New Zealand officers. “She’s got a loyalty to the gun lobby groups.”
The review was “without a doubt, a backdoor into giving people access to semiautomatic assault rifles again,” Cahill said.
At the time of the ban, McKee denounced it as “knee-jerk.” As a minister she is more guarded, but told the AP that New Zealand had not been entirely rid of such weapons; several hundred people have permits to use them for pest control in rural areas, while others can own but not fire them.
“If we extend the access, what are the possible controls around the use of the extension? And would society be happy with what those controls mean?” McKee said she would ask during the review.
“It’s about how do we find the balance with protecting people but not going over the top with a regulatory regime,” she said. Any concerns raised by opponents should be “realistic,” McKee added. “It cannot be anecdotal.”
New Zealand’s gun laws were safer before the 2019 reforms, the minister said, citing the dozens of pages of information now required for a gun license as an example of changes that could deter gun owners’ compliance.
“That’s absolute rubbish,” said Cahill. Gun laws were “loose” before the attack, he added, and the scrutiny reported by owners in the years since reflected the proper administration of the law after an injection of government funds.
McKee will begin by examining the gun registry created after the attacks; some gun owners want it shrunk to only the highest-powered weapons, rather than all guns. She will also explore removing from police oversight the new agency that administers gun licenses and registrations.
Gun crime has increased in New Zealand since 2019, according to analysis of official crime figures by New Zealand news outlets. Supporters of the tighter restrictions say they will take time to have an impact, and that a burgeoning problem with violent gang crime is fueling the rise. McKee, and groups representing gun owners, say scrutiny since the attack has fallen on law-abiding license holders at the expense of criminals, who are not captured by the stricter rules.
The Council of Licensed Firearms Owners said members had lost or couldn’t obtain licenses because of malicious reports from past partners — who must be interviewed as part of a person’s application — or because they had divulged depression to their doctors. Areas of flexibility should be introduced to applications, spokesperson Hugh Devereux-Mack said.
“Every single New Zealander who is not convicted of a serious criminal offense and has no sort of problematic behaviors or serious mental health conditions is eligible to own a firearm,” Devereux-Mack said.
The gunman serving a life sentence for the Christchurch attack, Brenton Tarrant, moved to New Zealand from Australia, acquired a gun license and amassed a cache of assault weapons, all legally, without drawing the attention of law enforcement until he committed the massacre.
The police were censured by an inquiry that found Tarrant was incorrectly allowed to nominate a character reference who barely knew him because he did not have relatives in New Zealand who could be interviewed.
McKee said the rules that followed have made the system rigid and unwieldy. She would prefer a licensing regime “that looked at the individual,” she said — without prompting the same disregard of rules that had allowed Tarrant to receive a license.
Devereux-Mack said his group might support an additional practical testing component to gun licensing, and a tiered system with more freedoms for longtime license holders.
“New Zealand won’t be safer if it becomes easier to get a gun,” Ataçocuğu said. “I have to have an eye test every time I renew my drivers’ license. Gun owners should have similar background and mental health checks every few years to make sure they’re still safe to have guns.”


Football-Fulfilling dreams and finding new friends: fans camp out at Euro 2024

Football-Fulfilling dreams and finding new friends: fans camp out at Euro 2024
Updated 24 min 43 sec ago
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Football-Fulfilling dreams and finding new friends: fans camp out at Euro 2024

Football-Fulfilling dreams and finding new friends: fans camp out at Euro 2024
  • “In 1990 I was with some friends in Italy at the World Cup there and it was so funny and I said at that time, okay, I will do it again,” Harald Goerz, a Germany fan from Aachen told Reuters

STUTTGART: International rivalries have been put to one side in a campsite in Stuttgart as fans from various nations live in motorhomes next to one another and share the common joy of following their team at Euro 2024.
While the action intensifies on the pitch, the fans are making new friends, sharing drinks and creating a festival atmosphere in a unique holiday that could end next week or next month.
“In 1990 I was with some friends in Italy at the World Cup there and it was so funny and I said at that time, okay, I will do it again,” Harald Goerz, a Germany fan from Aachen told Reuters outside his rented motor home.
“In that time I met my wife, we have been married for 32 years. And last year we had the idea to start this traveling with the German team around Germany to all their games.
“That was ever my dream, I said to her if any time a new European Championship or World Cup is in Germany, then we will do that.”
Harald’s wife Martina, sitting beside him in her Germany jersey, said they would make a photo album of their journey across the country that has taken in Munich and Stuttgart so far and then on to Frankfurt next to show their family.
“We want to have a photo album... for our grandchildren to show them: Look. When I tell our daughter about it, she watches it herself, she lives in Cologne, and she will say: ‘That’s amazing, it’s a shame I couldn’t come with you’. She is crazy about football too.”
Germany have two wins from their opening two matches, the second a 2-0 victory over Hungary at the Stuttgart Arena, which is a five minute walk from the campsite.
However, there was no animosity from Hungarian fans also were camping out.
“It’s amazing. That’s the word... after the game we came here and we just sit in the ‘pub’ and drink with the Scottish fans and they are the best,” Hungary fan Tamas Szucs said, camping with his friend Zsolt Kiraly who he met five years ago and now travels with for international matches.
“We had some German fans here, we said to them well done, good job.
“Everyone is friendly,” he added.

’NO SCOTLAND, NO PARTY’
The Scottish fans are proving to be popular at this tournament with thousands having made the journey. At the Stuttgart campsite, groups made their way separately on the long journey from Scotland but are already one big family.
“We left Glasgow 10 days ago and drove 24 hours solid to get here. And the three guys here, they fell right out the bus. They didn’t stop drinking for 24 hours. 80 cans of beer in 24 hours,” Scotland fan John Gilmour said as his fellow fans cheered and raised fresh bottles of beer.
Scotland were part of the last Euros but that one had COVID restrictions, so for some fans it has been their first real chance to see their team at a European Championship since 1996.
“This was my dream,” said Tony, a Scotland fan who lives in Blackpool, England.
“When I was younger I can remember the football but I was too busy with children. So this time was my dream. I wasn’t missing it. And I brought my son. He was born during Euro 96, so I managed to get him here as well.”
There will be more Scottish arrivals in Stuttgart ahead of their crucial Group A match against Hungary on Sunday, with both teams needing a win to be in with a shout of reaching the next stage.
The chant of “No Scotland, no party” will be heard right across the campsite and the city this weekend.


Pogacar confident in his UAE team to deliver third Tour de France title

Pogacar confident in his UAE team to deliver third Tour de France title
Updated 28 min 56 sec ago
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Pogacar confident in his UAE team to deliver third Tour de France title

Pogacar confident in his UAE team to deliver third Tour de France title

PARIS: Tadej Pogacar believes he has the right team in place to help him fight for a third Tour de France triumph with an eight-rider UAE roster confirmed on Friday.
“It’s already my fifth time coming to the Tour and I’m really excited about it,” said Pogacar, a back-to-back winner in 2020 and 2021 who finished runner-up in the past two editions to Jonas Vingegaard.
“We’ve worked really hard all year as a team to prepare for this. We’ve spent a lot of time together as a group training at altitude and put in a lot of hours in the saddle. We’re in a really good place as a group.”
Pogacar, 25, will also be bidding for the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double, last achieved by the late Marco Pantani in 1998, with this year’s Tour starting in Florence on June 29.
The Slovenian will be accompanied by Britain’s Adam Yates, Spaniards Juan Ayuso and Marc Soler, France’s Pavel Sivakov, Portuguese Joao Almeida, Belgian Tim Wellens and Germany’s Nils Politt.
“We know what we have to do to support Tadej,” said Yates, third in last year’s Tour de France.
“We’re aiming for the win and we know if things go our way it’s possible so it’s just a matter of staying focused and pulling together all the way to Nice.”
Ayuso, winner of the Tour of the Basque Country and third in the 2022 Vuelta, and Almeida, third in last year’s Giro, will compete in their first Tour de France.


EU confirms launch of Ukraine, Moldova membership talks Tuesday

EU confirms launch of Ukraine, Moldova membership talks Tuesday
Updated 40 min 26 sec ago
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EU confirms launch of Ukraine, Moldova membership talks Tuesday

EU confirms launch of Ukraine, Moldova membership talks Tuesday
  • Starting the negotiations will still only put the two ex-Soviet states at the beginning of what is likely to be a years-long process of reforms before they can finally become members

LUXEMBOURG: EU countries on Friday formally approved launching accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova next week, a landmark event for the two countries at the start of their long path toward joining the bloc.
European Union ministers will start negotiations first with Ukraine and then with Moldova in Luxembourg on Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
Ukraine — followed by its neighbor Moldova — lodged its application to join the 27-nation EU in the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion.
Starting the negotiations will still only put the two ex-Soviet states at the beginning of what is likely to be a years-long process of reforms before they can finally become members.
EU leaders took the key step in December of agreeing to open talks on war-torn Ukraine — and Moldova — joining the club.
But to actually begin the negotiations the bloc’s members still had to sign off on a formal framework for the process.
The EU’s executive told member states this month that Ukraine and Moldova had met all the criteria needed to launch the talks.
Pressure has grown to move Ukraine onto the next step in its quest for membership, in the face of fears that Hungary could stall progress when it takes over the EU’s rotating presidency in July.
Hungary — the friendliest country to Russia in the EU — has said it does not intend to hold any further rounds of talks with Ukraine during its six months at the helm.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has reinvigorated a push in the EU to take on new members, after years in which countries particularly in the Western Balkans made little progress on their hope to join.
The EU in December 2023 also granted candidate status to another of Russia’s former Soviet neighbors, Georgia.
It has also approved accession negotiations with Bosnia and has opened such talks with Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia.