Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many health-related AI technologies today are biased because they're built on datasets largely comprised of men and individuals of European descent.

Why it matters: An AI system trained to identify diseases, conditions and symptoms in people in these datasets could fail when presented with data from people with different characteristics.

Background: AI-powered disease detection technology is part of the health care AI market expected to exceed $34 billion by 2025.

  • Researchers recently demonstrated that AI used in breast cancer screenings correctly identified more cancers, reduced false positives and improved reading times.

What's happening: Most medical research tends to focus on men, and most genetic data publicly available is from individuals of European descent. As AI is increasingly used in medicine, it could result in misdiagnoses of patients based on their gender, race and/or ethnicity.

  • While heart attacks generally strike men and women equally, they are more likely to be fatal in women, which can be caused by a delay in care due to gender-based differences in symptoms.
  • Similarly, if a person is not of European descent, AI medical technologies may incorrectly diagnose that person, as their symptoms and disease manifestations could differ
  • Recent studies and mishaps have shown that our current data and programs that rely on AI, like search engines and image recognition software, are biased in ways that can cause harm.

What we're watching: Some steps are being taken to ensure that AI is evaluated for bias, including proposed legislation.

  • The National Institutes of Health launched a new program last year to expand diversity in medical research and data by soliciting volunteers from populations that are currently underrepresented.

Go deeper: Scientists call for rules on evaluating predictive AI in medicine

Miriam Vogel is the executive director of Equal AI, a professor at Georgetown Law and a former associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 30,782,337 — Total deaths: 957,037— Total recoveries: 21,032,539Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,764,962 — Total deaths: 199,258 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

The positions of key GOP senators on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee by next week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks out from Election Day.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." But Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) told Alaska Public Media, "I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

ActBlue collects a record $91 million in hours after Ginsburg's death

A makeshift memorial in honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 19. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

ActBlue received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, the Democratic donation-processing site confirmed to Axios late Saturday.

Why it matters via the New York Times: "The unprecedented outpouring shows the power of a looming Supreme Court confirmation fight to motivate Democratic donors."