Two HMS Center for Bioethics faculty members, Francis Shen and Vardit Ravitsky have received research funding through the National Institutes of Health. The NIH Common Fund has launched the Bridge to Artificial Intelligence (Bridge2AI) program to expand the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in biomedical and behavioral research.

Shen is part of the Ethical and Trustworthy AI Module for a Bridge2AI grant based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He says of the project, “The Bridge2AI grant includes a strong emphasis on incorporating ethics at every stage of development for medical AI. The Center for Bioethics is at the forefront of this AI ethics dialogue, and I look forward to working with my MGH colleagues on this project.”

Ravitsky is a Principal Investigator on two Bridge2AI grants. On one project, “Voice as a Biomarker of Health,” she and colleagues will be researching the use of AI to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including cancer and depression, by analyzing the sound of a patient’s voice. The second project, “Cell Maps for Artificial Intelligence,” will map the structure of human cells, with the goal of better understanding how genetics relate to the physical expression of disease. Their work will be comprehensive, and ethically complex: Ravitsky says, “We intend to use the approach of ethics inquiry through a continuum, starting from data generation and AI research and development, continuing into clinical adoption of the datasets, and extending to downstream patient health decisions and outcomes.”

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