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AI’s use must nurture a safer world, not just a more advanced one
By Jennifer Dunphy  |  Feb 21, 2024
AI’s use must nurture a safer world, not just a more advanced one
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AI has completely changed the way public health and many other sectors work, and while many of these developments are impressive, questions remain about how best to address existing safety issues, writes Dr Jennifer Dunphy, senior VP for a top US physician association.

LOS ANGELES - As a public health professional, I am constantly striving to find better ways of protecting, preventing and otherwise mitigating harm to the public. During the last decade in particular, artificial intelligence (AI) has swept in and led to wholesale changes, turning classic public health campaigns on their heads. The tech has revolutionized safety measures across a broad spectrum of public health interests, from accident prevention to sexual health and disease prevention. Detractors might wonder if humanity can in fact rely on AI to, e.g., drive people home or tell them when they are more likely to get pregnant but, despite some disappointments, AI has, on balance, proved fairly worthy of its grand reputation. 

AI and other advanced tech have transcended the realm of science fiction to become a driving force in shaping a safer world for humanity. Their applications span virtually every imaginable sector, each contributing uniquely to enhancing human safety. This article will delve into specific examples within each category, illuminating the multifaceted ways in which AI makes people’s lives safer.

Healthcare diagnostics, treatment

The healthcare landscape is more complex than most, yet here AI is making remarkable strides - especially in diagnostics and treatment plans. One of the best examples of this is the application of AI in pathology. PathAI, a startup leveraging machine learning (ML), has developed algorithms  able to analyze pathology slides to identify and classify cancerous cells with unprecedented accuracy. This not only expedites the diagnostic process, but also ensures patients receive more targeted and effective treatments.

AI is also moving beyond diagnostics to increasingly integrate into treatment-related decision-making. IBM's

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