Answer ... (a) Healthcare
AI technology can be deployed in healthcare to gain information, process such information, and give a well-defined output, with the primary aim of analysing relationships between prevention or treatment techniques and patient outcomes. Hospitals and other healthcare providers may also deploy AI technology for operational purposes. Increasingly, insurance companies are seeking to leverage AI technologies to process claims and set policy prices. However, the use of AI in healthcare and insurance raises issues regarding algorithmic bias and other ethical concerns. Currently, there is no regulation specific to the use of AI in healthcare.
(b) Security and defence
The Department of Defense and other national security agencies are developing AI applications for a range of military functions. AI research is underway in the fields of intelligence collection and analysis, logistics, cyber operations, information operations, command and control, and semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Competition exists at the global level regarding development of the ‘best’ AI technology. Some legal issues raised by military AI development include the risk of vulnerability and manipulation of AI technology, as well as ethical considerations.
(c) Autonomous vehicles
AVs are one of the primary areas where AI is applied, mostly through machine learning and deep learning. These vehicles are typically equipped with sensors, such as cameras, radars and lidar, to help them better understand and navigate their surroundings through the processing of large quantities of environmental input data. Some of the legal issues raised include the question of civil liability: if an AV injures someone in an accident, who should be responsible? The question of criminal culpability also arises: if someone falls asleep or is inebriated at the wheel in an AV, will that still be considered unlawful? Additionally, insurance law comes into question – specifically, whether the parameters of traditional auto insurance need to be altered, with new potential limits and exclusions.
AI technology can help manufacturers to digitise their factory operations. Some applications include:
- detecting defects throughout the production process;
- deploying predictive maintenance to reduce downtime;
- responding to real-time changes in demand across the supply chain;
- validating whether intricate goods have been produced to specifications;
- reducing the costs of small-batch or single-run goods to enable greater customisation; and
- improving employee satisfaction by relegating mundane tasks to machines.
Concerns regarding the replacement of human workers with AI technology, as well as ethical and labour implications, are rightly under consideration.
Some of the more common applications of AI technology in agriculture include:
- the use of agricultural robots that can be programmed to handle essential agricultural tasks (eg, harvesting crops) at a higher volume and faster pace than human workers;
- the use of computer vision and deep-learning algorithms to process data captured by drones and/or other software-based technology to monitor crop and soil health; and
- the use of machine learning models to track and predict environmental impacts, such as weather change, on crop yields.
Regarding the use of AI robots and other AI-based equipment, legal considerations may apply regarding the operation of such machinery. States such as California are modifying their Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations to impose new rules regarding the operation of AI-based machinery.
(f) Professional services
Professional services companies, including law firms, can use AI to help to automate a number of time-consuming or repetitive tasks, such as:
- reviewing and categorising a large portfolio of documents based on given criteria;
- extracting data from documents for analysis;
- identifying documents that are relevant for a request;
- maintaining consistency in document records; and
- conducting research and other tasks in support of compliance efforts.
(g) Public sector
The public sector has also been able to deploy AI technology, such as the use of chatbots to field incoming calls and questions from constituents, to free up time and resources for other functions. Other applications include using AI technology to:
- recognise and report objects in photographs and videos;
- translate dynamically between languages;
- monitor social media or public opinion for government-related topics or emergency situations;
- identify fraudulent activity or claims;
- automatically detect code violations;
- anticipate traffic flow and road maintenance needs; and
- measure the impact of public policies.
Just as with the use of AI technology in other sectors, AI technology in the public sector raises concerns regarding vulnerability to cyberattack and manipulation, as well as bias and discrimination in AI deployment and related ethical considerations.
AI technology is also being used in other sectors such as education, marketing, retail and e-commerce, as well as job recruiting and human resources.