ABSTRACT

In the last decade, the development and implementation of many emerging health technologies have been accelerated by the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI), broadly defined as the performance of tasks that previously required human intelligence or cognition. Many express great hopes that AI can transform health systems management, strengthen health research, assist with clinical care, and facilitate self-management and preventive care to improve health outcomes. However, the variable levels of accuracy, utility and oversight of these evolving technologies raise various ethical and justice concerns. This chapter explores how the development and utilization of AI in healthcare is a feminist bioethics issue. It begins with a brief description of AI technologies and why AI development in healthcare is experiencing tremendous growth, illustrated by examples of applications that have gender-related implications. This is followed by a normative discussion of AI as an issue for feminist bioethics, focusing on how AI may exacerbate macro concerns of power imbalances in healthcare and micro concerns regarding the impact on therapeutic and familial care relationships. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future work for feminist bioethicists and AI, with a recommendation of exploring how the feminist concept of relational autonomy and attention to social justice may help to promote more respectful and equitable care in the evolving technological era.