Google DeepMind that slogans Solve Intelligence was the focus of the national press earlier this month when it was revealed that they were developing software for the NHS. The software that runs through a smartphone application will alert the staff within hospitals to the patients that it determines are at risk of deterioration and possible death through kidney failure.

The technology was endorsed by a number or institutes/persons including but not limited to; The institute of Global Health and Lord Darzi who stated

innovation is the only solution we have for a sustainable NHS, both economically and in meeting the challenges and demands upon it.

Sounds great, or does it?

Some would argue that the patients weren’t included in the decision to make this collaboration happen, and that when dealing with such sensitive data relating to the health of a human being, such health that they may not wish to disclose to anyone that isn’t their doctor. Included in the information that DeepMind have been given access to patients who are HIV-positive as well as those that have taken drug overdoses and have had abortions. Also on top of that expansive information they also have access to 5 years worth of historical data, clearly some patients are not happy about this information being handed over to a third party.

When artificial intelligence potentially goes wrong, its easy to rectify when the AI its self does not handle sensitive personal data. A good example of this is when Microsofts ‘Tay Tweets’ had to be taken offline after the chat bot started tweeting inappropriate tweets to the world such as;

Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have got now. donald trump is the only hope we’ve got.

clearly this is unacceptable but imagine the outrage if DeepMind goes rogue and releases all of the sensitive data mentioned in the previous paragraph.

However my opinion is that for change to be implemented and improvements to be made, people in charge should be allowed to innovate and create, without the access to such data, there would not be a chance for change.