F.B. International’s Weekend Digest is a breakdown of noteworthy items we discovered throughout the week.
Each week the team at F.B. chooses some ‘good reads’ we think you may enjoy.
Getting closer to the future of AI means we have to let AI get closer to us. However, in order for people to warm up to the idea of letting AI access their personal data, there needs to be a level of trust. Establishing this trust is important because there’s no underestimating the places AI can take us. Simply put, AI optimizes data, helps us make better choices, and makes life easier.
This is especially evident in the healthcare industry. AI has been hailed as the missing link to improve ease of access to consolidated patient data. On average, people only visit the doctor every once in a while, and they have no running record of their visits. Kaiser Permanente is developing an app to change that, helping people access all of their relevant health data all in one place. This is near perfect timing as momentum gathers behind the movement to expand peoples’ rights to their own health-related data.
AI used in this way also promises fewer errors and less wasted time and money in the healthcare system. If doctors had vital patient information at their fingertips, they’d be able to make more informed diagnoses and treatment decisions. Major car corporations have also begun to house AI programs inside vehicles. Voice-AI company Beyond Verbal now has software in some models analyzes speech patterns to detect if a driver is showing signs of drowsiness. Alert systems would use these programs to decrease the number of accidents caused each year by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
Even with all these attractive soundbites, AI still lacks resounding public support. The main barriers it faces are similar to most criticisms of new technology: security and reliability. If the Equifax data leak–and the thousands of other data breaches that have happened since–had any lesson to offer, it’s that there is still progress to be made in terms of data security. Most people would love to be able to access all their healthcare data via their smartphone, but the notion that a hacker might enjoy that same access is a major turn-off. Security is important, but if people are going to rely on these systems in their daily life, they have to be reliable. Facial and speech recognition systems have already contributed greatly to research on mental and physical health, but a Wall Street Journal report points out that such programs can only boast 85% accuracy. This isn’t a terrible score, but it’s still enough to keep people on the fence. Developers of programs like these have also come under fire for not allowing their AI systems to ‘learn’ from diverse populations. A person of color using/relying on facial or voice analysis software that only studied caucasian subjects during development could easily fall into the 15% receiving incorrect information.
Whether it’s healthcare or driving, AI has limitless potential to improve aspects of our daily life. The technology is more or less already there, but a large portion of the public is still skeptical. In order for people to elevate their trust in AI, they need to know it can be trusted. That means major assurances in the realms of data security and accuracy. There are strides being made in these fields already. This in mind, widespread adoption of AI could be a reality very soon.
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