In response to AI’s permeation of health and healthcare, programs like the AI for Health Equity Symposium (AIHES2023) aim to convene experts who may address consumers’ questions and concerns.
This nationally-funded event focuses on advancing health equity and researcher diversity in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It was principally organized by The Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD), a program by the National Institutes of Health that aims to advance health equity through AI. AIM-AHEAD is a partnership between a number of schools and medical entities nationwide, including Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University; DC’s Howard University and Georgetown University; the University of Maryland School of Business in College Park; and Columbia, Maryland-HQed MedStar Health. The virtual symposium tackled themes surrounding inclusivity and diversity, as well as their intersection with the development of AI Applications.
“At AIM-AHEAD, we have the unique opportunity to respond to data science training needs of students, researchers, and community-based artists,” explained Simone Stanley, the Baltimore-based outreach and workforce development program manager at Georgetown University Medical Center, adding: “When it comes to outreach and training, underrepresented populations would like to trust those that engage with them.”
The symposium continues through Thursday.
AIM-AHEAD was specifically established to enhance diversity within the AI/ML field, with a primary emphasis on reducing health disparities and promoting health equity. The consortium’s mission is to drive progress in AI development and application while ensuring that underrepresented groups have meaningful opportunities to contribute and benefit from advancements in the field.
The virtual symposium, held on June 28th and 29, sets the stage for a four-week workshop series next month. Stanley told Technical.ly that the workshops explore such topics as health equity research, bias in healthcare environments and data science. The workshop series, scheduled to commence in July, will delve into topics such as identifying bias in AI/ML and data harmonization, among others. Stanley emphasizes, “It’s important to underscore that these opportunities are open to everyone, not just those in academia or medicine. I strongly believe that promoting health literacy and providing training is essential in addressing health disparities.”
Both the symposium and the subsequent workshop series are provided free of charge
These programs arrive on the heels of various AI-related projects between DC and Baltimore. DC is home to several AI-concerned startups and organizations, including those that work on the cutting edge of quantum computing and AI. Meanwhile, Baltimore- and DC-area educational institutions have joined hands on other AI-related initiatives. For instance, in May, the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Morgan State University launched the Institute for Trustworthy AI in Law & Society with the National Science Foundation. The foundation, which is based in Alexandria, Virginia, has invested $140 million into AI institutes alongside an additional $140 million from the Biden administration announced in May for two AI research centers.
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