CMO Talks with Healthcare Lead Orchid Jahanshahi

Orchid Jahanshahi

At a time when artificial intelligence (AI) is moving from the realm of fantasy to practical application, Healthcare Lead Orchid Jahanshahi says the issues of trust and transparency are becoming critical.

In a recent interview with ITWC President Fawn Annan conducted as part of the CMO Talks podcast series, Jahanshahi noted many banks are now using AI to decide the credit worthiness of customers and ultimately decide to whom they’ll offer loans. That may be a huge advance on some front, but she warned that unless the AI algorithms are designed on certain parameters, the system could be biased and might unfairly exclude some customers.

“Machine learning can eventually surpass our human ability to catch up. But some oversight is needed to make sure no consequences in terms of bias or lack of transparency occur.

Jahanshahi extended the discussion around trust and transparency into the pharmaceuticals industry.

“In pharma, it’s not enough to discuss features and benefits of a drug. You have to actually help customers visualize how their journey will be with the drug, and how it will benefit their life.” The same, she said, applies to technology like AI, which may be complicated but can and must be brought to life for people. It needs to be explained in such a way that they understand its impact and benefit in their life.

As people are trying to wrap their mind around AI, she told Fawn that too often the idea of “trust in AI” is left out of the discussion. And while AI is still a “sexy” field, she said people don’t yet really understand the differences existing between pure AI, augmented intelligence, robotics, and simply advanced digital technology. Real trust in AI, says Jahanshahi, begins only when people have developed this greater level of understanding.

Asked where she sees AI down the road, Jahanshahi is clear there will be no return to the pre-2020 world. A whole new life is emerging, and it’s already being seen with such things as safer office spaces, precision medicines, and virus contact tracing technology. Jahanshahi sees these the future as being one of opportunity and healthy competition, with “enough business for everyone.”

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