Stanford Medicine Launches Center for AI Ethics, Safety

June 26, 2023
RAISE-Health will seek to establish a platform for responsible AI in health and medicine and define a structured framework for ethical standards and safeguards

Stanford Medicine and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) have launched RAISE-Health (Responsible AI for Safe and Equitable Health) in an effort to address critical ethical and safety issues surrounding AI innovation and help others navigate this complex and evolving field.

Co-led by Stanford School of Medicine dean Lloyd Minor, M.D., and Stanford HAI co-director and computer science professor Fei-Fei Li, the initiative will establish a platform for responsible AI in health and medicine, define a structured framework for ethical standards and safeguards, and regularly convene a diverse group of multi-disciplinary innovators, experts, and decision makers on the topic, according to the university.

Both awareness of AI and skepticism about its use in healthcare have skyrocketed in the last 12 months. According to a recent Pew survey, a majority of Americans said they would be uncomfortable with their provider using AI in their own healthcare, underscoring the crossroads at which society finds itself. 

Dartmouth University also recently launched a Center for Precision Medicine and Artificial Intelligence to spur interdisciplinary research that can better leverage—as well as more safely and ethically deploy—biomedical data in assessing and treating patients and improving their healthcare outcomes.

“AI has the potential to impact every aspect of health and medicine,” Minor said, in a statement. “We have to act with urgency to ensure that this technology advances in line with the interests of everyonefrom the research bench to the patient bedside and beyond.” 

Goals of the RAISE-Health initiative include enhancing clinical care outcomes through responsible integration of AI; accelerating research to solve for the biggest challenges in health and medicine; and educating patients, care providers, and researchers to navigate AI advances.

“AI is evolving at an incredible pace; so, too, must our capacity to manage, navigate, and direct its path,” said Li, in a statement. Her research includes a focus on ambient—using AI to monitor and respond to human activity in homes, hospitals, and other environments. “Through this initiative, we are seeking to engage our students, our faculty, and the broader community to help shape the future of AI, ensuring it reflects the interests of all stakeholders – patients, families, and society at large,” she added.

Building on the goals of Stanford HAI, Stanford faculty research, and ongoing collaborations with policymakers and Silicon Valley innovators, RAISE-Health will be a repository for the AI work being done at Stanford University, Stanford Medicine and well beyond — hosting standards, tools, models, data, research, and best practices.

While AI offers the potential for transforming health globally, decision-makers must first address AI’s safety and ethical use to responsibly harness its full potential and build public trust in these systems.