Tackling COVID-19 through Responsible AI Innovation:

Five Steps in the Right Direction · Special Issue 1 — COVID-19: Unprecedented Challenges and Chances

Abstract

1.Introduction

2. Combating COVID-19 on the Second Front: New Challenges, Old Problems

2.1. Pitfalls of COVID-19-Related Research I: Algorthmic Bias and Discrimination

2.2. Pitfalls of COVID-19-Related Research II: Adverse Data Impact

2.3. Pitfalls of COVID-19-Related Research III: Lack of Process Transparency and Model Interpretability

3. Digital Contact Tracing, Solutionist Lure or Public Health Tool?

3.1. The First Wave of Digital Health Surveillance in Asia

3.2. The Coming Second Wave and the Prioritization of Privacy

3.3. Public Health Priorities of Past Digital Health Monitoring Interventions

3.4. The Solutionist Lures of Automation All-the-Way-Down

3.5. Privacy, Public Health, and Power

Five steps that should be taken in order to responsibly bring the insights of AI/ML to solve the problems raised by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Step I: Open Science and Share Data Responsibly
  • Step II: CARE & Act Through Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
  • Step III: Adopt Ethical Principles to Create a Shared Vocabulary for Balancing and Prioritizing Conflicting Values
  • Step IV: Generate and Cultivate Public Trust Through Transparency, Accountability, and Consent
  • Step V: Foster equitable innovation and protect the interests of the vulnerable.

Step I: Open Science and Share Data Responsibly

Step II: CARE & Act Through Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Step III: Adopt Ethical Principles to Create a Shared Vocabulary for Balancing and Prioritizing Conflicting Values

  • Ensure the abilities of individuals to make free and well-informed decisions about their own lives
  • Safeguard their autonomy, their power to express themselves, and their right to be heard
  • Value the uniqueness of their aspirations, cultures, contexts, and forms of life
  • Secure their ability to lead a private life in which they are able to intentionally manage the transformative effects of the technologies that may influence and shape their development
  • Support their abilities to fully develop themselves and to pursue their passions and talents according to their own freely determined life plans
  • Safeguard the integrity of interpersonal dialogue and connection
  • Protect human interaction as a key for trust and empathy
  • Use technology to foster this capacity to connect so as to reinforce reciprocal responsibility and mutual understanding
  • Design and deploy AI to foster and to cultivate the welfare of all stakeholders whose interests are affected by their use
  • Do no harm with these technologies and minimize the risks of their misuse or abuse
  • Prioritize the safety and the mental and physical integrity of people when scanning horizons of technological possibility, conceiving of, and deploying AI applications
  • Treat all individuals equally and protect social equity
  • Use digital technologies to support the protection of fair and equal treatment under the law
  • Prioritize social welfare, public interest, and the consideration of the social and ethical impacts of innovation in determining the legitimacy and desirability of AI technologies
  • Use AI to empower and to advance the interests and well-being of as many individuals as possible
  • Think big-picture about the wider impacts of the AI technologies you are conceiving and developing. Think about the ramifications of their effects and externalities for others around the globe, for future generations, and for the biosphere as a whole

Step IV: Generate and Cultivate Public Trust Through Transparency, Accountability, and Consent

Step V: Foster equitable innovation and protect the interests of the vulnerable.

The Normative Dimension of Modern Scientific Advancement

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.

References

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Senior Advisor for Health Care Strategy to BCG — Boston Consulting Group

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Joaquim Cardoso @ BCG

Senior Advisor for Health Care Strategy to BCG — Boston Consulting Group