Over the past year, we’ve seen a massive increase in the degree to which AI is being integrated into products and services we use on a daily basis. Artificial intelligence (AI) — large networks of data that can generate text, answer questions, edit images, transcribe audio, and more — is creating a step change in how people create, access, and use information to answer questions, solve problems, and make decisions. In this way, what’s happening now has parallels with the impact that Google had when it first released its search engine. People moved from accessing information on the internet as if they were browsing a phone book to the dominant information navigation experience of the last 20 years: ranked search results. AI has the potential to change how users discover information in a similarly meaningful way.
As one of the largest health and wellness information properties in the world, Healthline’s core mission is helping people own their health and well-being, largely by providing access to trustworthy and accurate information about health conditions, mental health, and overall wellness.
We see the potential for what’s happening in AI to make a positive impact on our ability to help consumers access this vital information. We want to communicate proactively where we see opportunity and what we are doing to evaluate this opportunity in a responsible way that seeks to realize the benefits, while also mitigating the risks that come with using a relatively new technology.
Artificial intelligence models are being used elsewhere in the healthcare industry — to assist doctors in their work burden, to improve the access experience, and to assist in diagnosis and treatment, to name a few.
We fundamentally see AI as another technological advance that can impact human lives. To that end, some of the initial use cases for leveraging AI that we are starting to explore include creating chat-based assistants to answer user questions to augment the existing Healthline experience. The first iteration of a chat-based assistant is an AI-powered health-journey assistant, specifically focusing on skin care. This assistant tool will utilize our content repository to generate responses to queries.
We want to acknowledge the risks that come with using a still-new technology in a domain like healthcare where accurate, unbiased information is paramount. We believe that the way this technology allows people to access, understand, and use information has the potential to create significant value when it comes to helping people manage their health, and we want to responsibly evaluate the potential applications.
To that end, we want to be transparent about the measures we are putting in place to best address some of the potential risks that come with using this technology. We have formed an AI Review Board composed of leaders across our medical, legal, equity, business, data, security, privacy, creative, editorial, and engineering teams. The purpose of this review board is to define the standards we are using to vet uses and applications of AI from a broad, multidimensional perspective.
We will work in lockstep with our clinical teams, editorial team, and medical reviewers to ensure close vetting for medical rigor and factual accuracy of any and all external-facing experiences or pieces of media in which AI is involved. We will be transparent to end users whenever they are viewing or interacting with an experience that is assisted or powered by AI. All content will be subject to the rigorous copy edit, editorial, and medical review standards users expect from all of our content.
We continue to work with leaders and monitor the evolving technology in the AI space to ensure that we improve the iterations of our model’s outputs. We also welcome feedback through our established reader feedback process as part of our overall surveillance to continuously improve the outputs.