Salzburg Global Fellows Review Google Deepmind's NHS Deal




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Apr 12, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Fellows Review Google Deepmind's NHS Deal

Hal Hodson and Julia Powles publish academic paper identifying critical questions for health care professionals Picture credit: dirkcuys

Two Salzburg Global Fellows have published an academic paper investigating a deal between Google's artificial intelligence firm DeepMind and the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

Hal Hodson, a former New Scientist journalist, and Julia Powles, a Cambridge University academic, co-authored the paper, which was published online last month.

The article, Google DeepMind and healthcare in an age of algorithms, has been shared more than 600 times and downloaded on at least 22,000 occasions. It has gained the attention of media outlets such as the BBC and ABC Radio National.

Both Hodson and Powles attended Salzburg Global's Fellow 60 meeting, Remaking the State: The Impact of the Digital Revolution Now and to Come. In this session, which took place last year, a mix of participants met at Chateau Klingenthal, near Strasbourgh, France.

Participants considered several key questions, including looking at how the Internet and its associated technologies have changed the roles, capacities of, and relationships between citizens, corporations and the state.

For their paper, Hodson and Powles looked at the use of data-driven tools and techniques created to improve health care systems and services. Both narrow their focus to DeepMind Technologies Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google conglomerate, Alphabet Inc. In 2016, DeepMind announced its collaboration with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Hodson and Powles have used this deal as a case study.

In the paper's abstract, Hodson and Powles say the paper reviews "the transfer of population-derived datasets to large private prospectors, identifying critical questions for policy-makers, industry, and individuals as healthcare moves into an algorithmic age."

For more information on this paper, please click here.