AI for Healthy Humans and Environments

In collaboration with the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Policy and Ethics, the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, CLTS, and the Institute for Science, Society and Policy, along with a network of leading experts from the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability, the LIFE Institute, the Centre for Governance and the Centre for Public Law, this project aims to develop tools and a framework that support policymakers in Canada and abroad in implementing “smart” changes that will foster healthier and more sustainable Artificial Intelligence, AI, powered health care and food production.

The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue funding enables the project to explore how best to regulate AI in healthcare, particularly how the Canadian federal government should approach regulation of medical devices that include AI.

The Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue’s Project on AI for Healthy Humans and Environments is organized in two streams:

AI and the Future of Healthcare

Current legal and regulatory regimes protecting patient safety, privacy and other values were developed for an era of medicine that will be eclipsed. For AI health technologies to deliver optimal and equitable healthcare benefit to all Canadians, it is important to proactively identify and address how to ensure our regulatory governance is equal to the benefits and challenges emerging with new technologies. The salient legal issues that emerge as we consider the appropriate adoption of AI and machine learning, ML< will be surveyed.

AI and the Future of Environment

AI promises to revolutionize agriculture and drastically reduce its environmental loading by allowing for the precise use of resources through big data driven advice generated by machine learning. This project plans will shed light on both the environmental and social impacts of big data and AI in food production, with a focus on what policymakers could do to enable the sustainability gains presented by emerging digitization, while fairly distributing its risks.  The project will further Canada’s leadership on inclusive innovation, climate adaptation and mitigation through two interrelated research activities: testing the sustainable potential of AI applied to food, and inquiring into the social impacts of big data and AI especially among historically marginalized food system actors.

Collaborating Institutes:

Centre for Law, Technology and Society (Florian Martin-Bariteau, Ph.D.)

Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics (Colleen M. Flood, Ph.D.)

Institute for Science, Society and Policy (Kelly Bronson, Ph.D.)

Also associated:

Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability (Heather McLeod-Kilmurray, Ph.D.)

LIFE Institute (Linda Garcia, Ph.D.)

Centre on Governance (Éric Champagne, Ph.D.)

Centre for Public Law (Vanessa MacDonnell, Peter Oliver, Ph.D.)

Postdoctoral Fellows:

As the Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Environment, Mascha Gugganig, Ph.D. will look at both the role of innovation in regenerative agriculture, and discursive authorities of policy and industry visions of ‘smart’ farming and AI applications. She will research human-environment relations in agriculture and food production in light of contested novel technologies.

As the Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Health, Michael Da Silva, Ph.D. will explore the legal and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for health and healthcare. He will apply his graduate and post-doctoral training in law and philosophy to examine how to weigh and implement – and then reassess – competing values in ‘real-world’ institutional contexts. He will begin by contributing to ongoing work on the ethical regulation of A.I. in/as medical devices.

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