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Philosophical evaluation of the conceptualisation of trust in the NHS’ Code of Conduct for artificial intelligence-driven technology


The UK Government’s Code of Conduct for data-driven health and care technologies, specifically artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies, comprises 10 principles that outline a gold-standard of ethical conduct for AI developers and implementers within the National Health Service. Considering the importance of trust in medicine, in this essay I aim to evaluate the conceptualisation of trust within this piece of ethical governance. I examine the Code of Conduct, specifically Principle 7, and extract two positions: a principle of rationally justified trust that posits trust should be made on sound epistemological bases and a principle of value-based trust that views trust in an all-things-considered manner. I argue rationally justified trust is largely infeasible in trusting AI due to AI’s complexity and inexplicability. Contrarily, I show how value-based trust is more feasible as it is intuitively used by individuals. Furthermore, it better complies with Principle 1. I therefore conclude this essay by suggesting the Code of Conduct to hold the principle of value-based trust more explicitly.

  • information technology
  • ethics
  • philosophy of medicine

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