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02.04.2024 By Daniel Brackins and Melanie Holst

4 Predictions and Recommendations Healthcare Communicators Should Keep in Mind as Generative AI Gains Speed.

XAI 3d illustration Future medical technology controlled by AI robot using machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze people health and give advice on health care treatment decision. 3D.

Generative AI continues to disrupt industries across the board, and healthcare communications is no exception. While GenAI tools hold immense potential, there’s been no shortage of controversy about their rollout, capabilities, and future potential and pitfalls. From a healthcare comms perspective, navigating the key issues – like privacy and intellectual property debates – requires a thoughtful, industry-specific approach.

Let’s look at what’s changed in GenAI over the last year, as well as where things are likely to go in the future – and what it all means for healthcare communicators in the present.

Questions remain around security of data and how inputs are used.

The sensitivity of healthcare data demands a different level of protection from what many general-purpose AI platforms can offer. Samsung’s ban on employee use of chatbots after their sensitive information was leaked serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved. While some platforms promise not to employ user inputs in their training or content creation, there are still gray areas around how data is handled and stored.

Our prediction for the future: We anticipate a surge in proprietary AI platforms designed exclusively for the healthcare sector. These platforms will mirror the stringent security measures we see in the financial industry, ensuring sensitive patient and research information remains protected. Of course, this won’t eliminate the need for consent from patients and clients before their data is used in AI-assisted processes – and it certainly won’t eliminate the need for human oversight.

What this means in the now: Be privacy champions. Insist on secure, healthcare-specific AI platforms as the foundation of your work. Understand the terms of service for any AI tool you use, and proactively educate clients and colleagues on responsible data practices.

Who owns that idea? AI’s legal landscape gets complicated.

AI-generated content has sparked a number of plagiarism and copyright infringement concerns – and lawsuits. Artists, academic publishers, and influential organizations like the Author’s Guild are rightfully concerned about their intellectual property being used to train AI models without their knowledge or proper compensation. Communications agencies are hyperaware of these concerns as we want to practice the highest AI ethics for ourselves and our clients.

Our prediction for the future: The “Napster moment” for AI is on the horizon, leading to new models for monetizing the use of artists’ and creators’ work. The recent agreement between SAG-AFTRA and Replica Studios to license actors’ voices is a prime example of this shift. While there will likely be uncertainty over the ownership of AI-created content for some time, regulatory bodies, especially in the EU, are already taking steps to establish guidelines for the ethical use of intellectual property in AI.

What this means in the now: Respect intellectual property. Stay updated on the legal landscape of AI-generated content and ensure that your team understands the ethical use of creative work. Advocate for transparency and fair compensation when using AI to generate new content.

Healthcare can’t afford “fake facts.”

While AI can be a powerful fact-checking tool, it still has the capacity to generate convincing but inaccurate information, known as hallucinating. In the healthcare arena, this can be especially damaging, considering the sensitive nature of our industry and the potential consequences for our clients, the public, healthcare providers, and patients, if misinformation is spread.

Our prediction for the future: The accuracy of AI models will continue to improve as they are trained on larger datasets and through innovative techniques. Approaches like Sakana AI‘s biology-inspired model, which employs evolutionary algorithms to find the best possible results, show significant promise. It’s crucial for healthcare organizations to prioritize AI solutions that are specifically focused on accuracy and reliability.

What this means in the now: Demand accuracy. Seek out AI solutions designed for reliability and accuracy, and use human judgment as a critical failsafe. Be prepared to address misinformation and have strategies for swiftly correcting any inaccuracies that may slip through.

The AI race is heating up… And getting power-hungry.

ChatGPT is just the tip of the iceberg. The pursuit of artificial general intelligence (AGI) is driving astonishing breakthroughs…but it also comes with an insatiable hunger for computing power. The boldness of futurist Ray Kurzweil’s prediction – “By 2029, computers will have human intelligence” – underscores the rapid acceleration of AI development.

Our prediction for the future. AI companies will continue to seek innovative energy solutions, potentially tapping into sources like nuclear power to fuel their massive operations. For healthcare organizations, this means doing our due diligence to choose the right models and staying ahead of the curve on how these power shifts might affect accessibility and contribute to the cost-effectiveness of AI technology over time.

What this means in the now: Think long-term: Keep an eye on the AI power race. Understand how evolving energy needs might impact the cost and accessibility of these tools in the future. Consider these factors when evaluating partnerships with AI providers.

While the allure of AI-powered efficiency is strong, a measured approach is crucial. Don’t jump on every new AI bandwagon without critically evaluating its suitability for sensitive healthcare information. By adopting a proactive stance on privacy, intellectual property, accuracy, and technological trends, healthcare communicators can harness the power of AI while upholding ethical standards and serving the best interests of our clients and the public.

Ready to explore AI’s healthcare potential further? Let the experts at Current Global guide you.

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