AI and the Everyday Political Economy of Global Health

Artificial intelligence-based technologies are being rapidly developed and adopted for use in global healthcare, accelerated yet further during the Covid-19 pandemic. While there is enormous potential of AI applications in health, it is far from clear how best it should be regulated to avoid negative side-effects. Health data and AI applications cross borders, but the capacity to regulate is still confined to the nation. Data ownership and development of algorithms, however, often exceed national borders. Healthcare itself is not easily regulated at the global level; the human body and the cultural norms through which we live are much more often thought of in national terms.

The research addresses the urgent need to better understand the challenges and potential solutions by which policymakers at the national and global levels can ensure the benefits of AI applications in health are fully realised in the public interest. Situated within the interdisciplinary ‘Precision Health and Everyday Democracy’ (PHED) network, the research focuses on two key aspects of the emerging governance structures on AI and health.

The first aspect is how institutional actors (such as states and international governmental organisations) are responding to emerging AI applications in health, and their relationship to private actors currently leading these developments.

Second, the project looks at the wider social context in which civil society, professional medical associations, but also everyday individuals relate to, and experience, these processes guiding the future of global politics.

To develop global institutional mechanisms by which AI can be used to achieve optimal outcomes for human health we need to straddle the gap between the everyday realm of the individual and the increasingly global reality of contemporary healthcare. The AI and the Everyday Political Economy of Global Health Project provides a bridge between the everyday and the global.

Principal Investigator: Jason Tucker, Malmö University
Project Member: Michael Strange – Associate Professor, Malmö University.

1 November 2021 until 30 November 2021