$5.97M project plans to study ethical, legal concerns of AI in colonoscopies

A five-year project funded by the European Union will investigate the ethical and legal implications of artificial intelligence in colonoscopy.

The project, named OperA, is led by Yuichi Mori, MD, PhD, associate professor at the University of Oslo in Norway, and includes 18 partners from 13 countries, according to a Sept. 26 news release. It will cost about $5.97 million to complete.

OperA's goal is to improve the diagnosis and therapy of colorectal cancer and polyps.

Some of the ethical and legal questions the study plans to look into include the implications of a misdiagnosis and what that could mean for legal liability and exploring how some communities may be underrepresented in existing data.

"AI is not perfect, but the hope is that it can help one day optimize colorectal cancer prevention through personalized treatment," Sara Gerke, an assistant professor of law at Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pa., and the study's co-principal investigator, said. "AI screening has the potential to be better than human screening, but it can have pitfalls. We need to learn to use the advantages AI can unlock in a meaningful way to reach its potential."

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