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Bridging The Gap
Amazon Alexa-NHS partnership splits expert opinion
  Thursday 11 July, 2019
Amazon Alexa-NHS partnership splits expert opinion

Worried about a lump? Got a nasty cough that won't budge? Many people Google queries about such symptoms daily - but now they can get NHS advice instantly by asking Amazon's Alexa.

The voice-activated assistant is now automatically searching NHS web pages to find answers to medical questions.

And the government hopes it will reduce the demand on human doctors.

But the move has split opinion among artificial intelligence (AI) experts and data ethicists.

"The sensitive data holdings of a national healthcare provider like the NHS are a form of 'critical social infrastructure'," said Berlin-based tech expert Mathana Stender.

"Yet they've been handed to a foreign company that's both a defence contractor and targeted advertiser,"

NHS GP David Wrigley asked, among other things, whether the questions asked via Alexa would be encrypted and who would store any data relating to patient queries.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48937663

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