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Beyond pure performance: An ethical framework for the use of AI in neuromedicine

Scientists and policymakers agree that artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative forces of our time. It is widely recognised that there is an urgent need for appropriate means of oversight and regulation of these transformative forces. One particularly important area is medicine, where the use of AI will directly impact the lives of each and every one of us. The overarching goal of this project is to provide a theoretically sound and empirically validated framework for evaluating the use of AI-based procedures in medical diagnostics and decision-making. Neuromedicine serves as a relevant use case. Detailed ethical and legal analyses will be carried out in order to identify necessary conceptual revisions.

Qualitative empirical methods are used to first analyse factors for acceptance and trust in connection with AI-based procedures in neuromedicine. Two large standardised surveys will then be conducted to quantitatively assess the impact of various influencing factors on the acceptance of AI innovations in neuromedicine. The results of these surveys will form the basis for the development of an evaluation framework for medical AI that is ethically and legally sound and takes into account the expectations of those directly affected by the use of this novel technology.

The legal sub-project will deal with these questions for the first time in both breadth and depth, and in particular also examine the question of a possible extrapolation of the latest case law.

The research consortium consists of:

  • Bert Heinrichs, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine - Ethics in the Neurosciences (INM-8), Research Centre Jülich (project coordinator) 
  • Dirk Lanzerath, German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences, University of Bonn
  • Robert Langner, Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Düsseldorf University Hospital
  • Julian Caspers, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Düsseldorf University Hospital
  • Simon Eickhoff, Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine - Brain and Behaviour (INM-7), Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Tade M. Spranger, Centre for the Law of Life Sciences, University of Bonn

The project is funded by the BMBF under the funding code 01GP2113B and runs from 01.12.2021 - 30.11.2024.