Doctors and public health experts are warning that the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) poses a threat to humanity and could harm the health of millions. Health professionals from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica, and Malaysia have called for a halt to the development of AGI until it is regulated.
While AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, it also has the potential to produce negative health impacts, including AI errors causing patient harm, data privacy and security issues, and the use of AI in ways that will worsen social and health inequalities.
The use of an AI-driven pulse oximeter that overestimated blood oxygen levels in patients with darker skin, resulting in the undertreatment of their hypoxia, is one example of the harm AI could cause.
Doctors also warned of broader global threats from AI to human health and human existence, including the use of lethal autonomous weapons and the mental health effects of mass unemployment.
Effective regulation of the development and use of artificial intelligence is needed to avoid harm, and until such regulation is in place, a moratorium on the development of self-improving AGI should be instituted, they warned. Separately, in the UK, a coalition of health experts, independent fact-checkers, and medical charities called for the government’s forthcoming online safety bill to be amended to take action against health misinformation.