“AI is a frontier issue in the health sector, as well as in many others. In the era of sustainable development, it is important that we make full use of the potential of AI to find solutions to address the multiple goals in the 17 goals of the SDGs,” said Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO at the AI for Good Global Summit.
According to Chan, AI has great potential but it will be essential to strike the right balance of being cautious as we have neither the answers to all the questions nor all the questions themselves.
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As she explains, in the health sector, AI can help us to mine the multiple databases and help us to detect patterns. At the system level, it helps us to assess the performance of health systems. At the personal level, it can empower individuals to make healthier choices and to stay healthy and happy.
At the government level, it can help inform decisions in terms of our health investments into the right areas that will bring the highest return on investment. At the medical professional level, AI has the potential to organize and structure data and simplify processes to help doctors and nurses make decisions.
“We must recognize that [the] context for healthcare decisions is extremely complex…in order to reap the potential of AI we also need to look at the regulatory issues as well as the ethical dilemmas.” — Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO
“The potential of AI is good, but it may further increase the inequity between the rich and the not-so-rich countries until and unless, through the ITU and many other partners, we can democratize and promote the access of Internet to all countries on an equal basis, the potential of AI is too far away for many developing countries.”
But, we should not give up – we have to continue to explore the potential of AI.