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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Unfortunately, due to present public health concerns, this event has been postponed.


On Monday 23 March, Dr Jeffrey Skopek (LML Deputy Director) and Ms Jennifer Anderson (LML Research Associate) will participate in 'Issues in Explainable AI 2: Understanding and Explaining in Healthcare'; a three-day workshop organised by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

Running from Monday 23 - Wednesday 25 March, the workshop will bring together leading researchers from philosophy, law, computer science and healthcare, to discuss the current status of AI in healthcare and what kinds of transparency or explanations (if any) are needed for these. It is the second instalment of a workshop series organised in collaboration with research projects on issues in explainable AI at the University of Saarland, the Technical University of Dortmund and Delft University of Technology.

Dr Skopek and Ms Anderson will present "What Difference Does It Make? “Black Box” Medicine and the Law" on Monday 23 March. 

This talk will explore whether and how the much-discussed ‘opacity’ of machine learning algorithms might be legally relevant in healthcare. In the first part of the talk, they will provide a brief legal primer. In the second part, they will sketch out the various areas of law in which opacity is thought to be legally relevant. In the third part, they will argue that machine learning systems are more similar to existing medical technologies and practices than is often recognised and that scholars should be wary of proceeding from a ‘premise of difference’. They then apply a ‘difference-sceptical’ approach to an area that has attracted considerable interest in the health AI context: the law of clinical negligence. Finding little support for the claim that machine learning will necessitate a transformation of the existing legal framework, they will conclude that if such a transformation does come to pass, it will be due to policy choices rather than technological imperatives – an important distinction that should not be left unnoticed.

The workshop is part of Rune Nyrup’s project 'Understanding Medical Black Boxes', funded by the Wellcome Trust. It is generously sponsored by the Society for Applied Philosophy, and the Wellcome Trust.

Venue: Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP

The full programme is available here.

Booking for the event is available here

Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 14:30