Investing in AI won't save the NHS

Today it was announced that the NHS is going to create an ‘AI lab’ that will supposedly help tackle the growing crises facing the NHS. This will, apparently, be funded by £250 million from the U.K. government - however, it’s not clear if this is additional investment or if it will come by cutting off money elsewhere.

I don’t doubt that AI can have enormous benefits in healthcare. It can help target treatments more effectively, identify issues in patient health, and even help develop more effective medicines. But it’s far from a silver bullet.

Indeed, the fact that AI is so many different things means that it has to be approached and implemented in a way that’s careful and responsive to the needs of both medical staff and patients.

It was only month ago that it was revealed that Alexa would be partnering with the NHS - this story is really just another episode in this sad and sorry saga of techno optimism deployed as a ruse for the privatization of the NHS.

When you consider that the most noise about AI and healthcare comes from the private sector - startups that can see the opportunity to make easy money from an NHS desperate for solutions - it’s hard not to feel demoralised about what’s happening. Not only are we destroying institutions that were core to the lives of generations before us, we’re letting rich idiots play in the rubble and sell it back to us.

No wonder VCs are getting excited - investment is surging.

I don’t know how we can make things better, but there has to be a way (please reply with answers).