Are ground zero nations morally responsible for international infectious outbreaks in today’s age? A recent Wall Street Journal discusses how a Canadian firm sent an AI-informed alert about the coronavirus outbreak–a week earlier than those from major health organizations. The United Nations’ Thomistic Aristotelian-grounded human rights-duties social contract framework argues in an intuitive way appealing across states and beliefs systems that we are one global human family, united by a common human dignity that is uniquely expressed in each person, and thus we are duty-bound to respect the rights of each person to flourish into who they are meant to be. Thus health systems and states are not just responsible to those in their community (i.e. in their social contract), but the entire global family. If AI is increasingly demonstrating how it can spot outbreaks before they become rampant (or even come into existence) more efficiently than current approaches, then should such parties make it mandatory operationally? Are there conditions which should be mandatorily, internationally, and automatically reported to inform early warning systems (without infringing on the autonomy of each health system or state unnecessarily)?
GSAS Chief Data Scientist Dominique Monlezun, MD, PhD, PhD, MPH is AI+MD: our voice advocating for patients through ethical AI, from the world’s first doctoral-level physician-data scientist and ethicist. Dr. Monlezun regularly breaks down the latest AI advances and their ethical aspects to ensure scientists, health professionals, policy makers, and politicians can unite to protect patients and vulnerable patient populations.