Four in ten Hispanics and English-speaking Asians believe that AI bias is an issue

Helen Hwang, Contributor

April 17, 2023

2 Min Read
Getty images

At a Glance

  • A Pew Research Center study shows Americans don’t trust AI in health care, with fears of bias a major concern.
  • Other concerns cover the relationship between health care providers and their patients, as well as patient record security.

A recent Pew Research Center study shows that 60% of Americans don’t trust the use of AI in medicine. Respondents to the survey said they didn’t feel comfortable with the idea that health care providers depend on AI to recommend treatments or diagnose diseases.

Among the biggest issues raised in the survey was bias. Some 51% of surveyed Americans said they believe AI could help address health inequities due to racial and ethnic bias in health care.

However, among surveyed African Americans, 64% said they believe that bias based on a patient’s race or ethnicity is a major issue in health care treatment. Approximately four in ten Hispanics and English-speaking Asians also believe that bias is an issue.

Among those concerned about bias, 36% believe that AI’s neutrality could help improve outcomes. The respondents who believe AI won’t impact patient treatment for better or worse believe that the data set used to train AI as well as the programmers who design and train AI remain biased.

Moreover, the security of patient records was also cited as a concern. Around 37% believe that AI in medicine and health could compromise the security of patient records.

Three-quarters (75%) of the respondents thought the movement to integrate AI in medicine and health is moving too fast without fully weighing the risks for patients. The concern over the speed of AI adoption was found to be widespread among all demographics, including those with knowledge of AI technologies.

One area of concern is the relationship between health care providers and their patients. Approximately 57% think that using AI to handle diagnoses or treatment plans would worsen the connection between the provider and the patient.

However, those surveyed were generally more positive about AI’s assistance with reducing errors in health care treatment. Around 40% believe that AI could decrease the number of errors made by health care providers, while 27% say AI could lead to more mistakes.

Young adults with postgrad education and higher income levels are the most comfortable with AI adoption in their health care treatments. Attitudes among gender also differ: 54% of men are uncomfortable and 66% of women are uncomfortable with the use of AI in health care.

Nearly two out of three surveyed Americans said they want AI-powered tools in their skin cancer screening. However, two-thirds said they would prefer that AI tools not dictate dosages of pain medication. Around 59% of the respondents prefer not to have AI-powered robots perform surgery on them and 79 % wouldn’t want to rely on an AI chatbot for mental health support.

About the Author(s)

Helen Hwang

Contributor, AI Business

Helen Hwang is an award-winning journalist, author, and mechanical engineer. She writes about technology, health care, travel, and food. She's based in California.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like