More than €2 million grant for research into responsible development and implementation of AI

A consortium of Northern Dutch researchers, social partners, companies and citizens and patients led by UMCG researcher Mirjam Plantinga has received a subsidy of more than 2 million euros from the National Science Agenda. They will use this to conduct research into responsible development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI). Specific attention will be paid to the perspective of low socioeconomic status (SES) groups. Worldwide, and also in the Northern Netherlands, the health differences between high and low SES groups are increasing. This study is crucial to ensure that the development of AI does not widen that health gap, but rather explores innovative strategies to narrow the gap.
Human and robot hand reaching out to each other

High-quality and affordable healthcare through the use of AI

Artificial Intelligence offers good opportunities to contribute to high-quality and affordable healthcare. However, AI is still something elusive for many and also raises many questions. For responsible development and implementation of AI, it is crucial to identify and address end-user doubts about AI applications. Existing health inequalities may otherwise increase with the introduction and use of innovative health technologies such as AI. This makes gaining insight into the needs, knowledge, (digital) health skills, attitudes and values surrounding the use of AI in decision-making about healthy living, working and aging so important. This is all the more true for groups with a low socio-economic status. By researching cultural, ethical, legal, socio-political and psychological aspects of the use of AI and by integrating this knowledge into an AI tool, a contribution will be made to responsible development and implementation of AI in the Northern region.

Research consortium

The grant has been awarded to the research consortium ELSA Northern Netherlands (ELSA-NN). ELSA stands for ethical, legal and social aspects. Mirjam Plantinga about this project: “Often, things are looked at from one perspective. But with AI solutions, the perspectives of all parties involved are very important to ensure that they benefit from this solution. In ELSA-NN, knowledge comes together in a broad perspective, from knowledge institutions, the business community, social parties and citizens and patients. This coming together of knowledge ensures a better and more appropriate approach and solutions.”

ELSA-NN will be integrated within the AI hub Northern Netherlands, the Health Technology Research & Innovation Cluster (HTRIC) and the Data Science Center in Health (DASH). They provide a solid foundation and infrastructure for the ELSA-NN consortium. ELSA-NN is set up as a learning health system in which much attention will be paid to dialogue, communication and education. The ELSA-NN Consortium consists of: UMCG; DASH, University of Groningen, Hanze Hogeschool, Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, HTRIC, Sterk uit Armoede, Zorgbelang Groningen, Zorgbelang Drenthe, Science LinX, Artistic Research Community in the North, AiMED, Municipality of Groningen, ZorgpleinNoord, Personalised & Connected Health (PCH) Ecosystem , Privacy1, 8Dgames, Syntho , Dhealth, Evidencio, Life Cooperative, AI-hub Northern Netherlands, HANNN, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, SPRINT.