A new battle is emerging between states and the federal government regarding the regulation of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems. North Carolina Republican representative Greg Murphy expressed concerns about the role of AI in healthcare, stating that while the technology has the potential to transform the industry, rules and standards should not be applied broadly across the nation. Doctors and technologists believe that predictive AI tools could greatly improve healthcare by analyzing medical scans and providing quick medical suggestions. However, the rules governing the use of AI in healthcare remain unclear or nonexistent. Murphy raises concerns about the loss of humanity and control in the age of advanced AI, particularly when a human doctor wishes to overrule an AI’s medical recommendation.
States are beginning to draft legislation to address the potential misuse of AI in healthcare. For example, California’s proposed AB 1502 aims to prohibit health insurers or healthcare service plans from using AI to discriminate against patients based on protected categories. Illinois is also considering legislation to regulate the use of AI algorithms in patient diagnoses, while Georgia has already enacted a law regulating AI use in eye exams. However, these state-level regulations may conflict with federal AI regulations, which have been evolving rapidly in the past month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has organized multiple hearings on AI legislation, with input from major tech companies, and federal health agencies have issued their own recommendations. If the battle over AI regulation follows the pattern of previous disputes over digital privacy, regulations could vary widely from state to state.
While US adults are generally uncomfortable with AI dictating their healthcare visits, there is widespread support for increased government intervention in AI. A majority of respondents in a recent survey expressed distrust in tech companies regulating themselves in AI matters. This sentiment suggests that lawmakers may be compelled to push for stricter state-level requirements in the absence of strong federal regulations. Overall, the debate surrounding the regulation of AI in healthcare highlights the need to strike a balance between harnessing the technology’s potential and safeguarding human control and autonomy.
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