Advanced Care Research Centre

ACRC at the 2023 Scottish AI Summit

This Spring, ACRC were delighted to host a panel discussion at the Scottish AI Summit to explore the role and perception of AI in later life with a technology sector audience.

We aimed to explore the usefulness of AI to improve quality of life in the future and the questions that arise from using these technologies in our daily lives 

We had a fantastic panel including Medical Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellow and GP, Clare MacRae and Dr Bea Alex, Senior Lecturer in Natural Language Processing from our Enhancing the Data Infrastructure strand. We were also delighted to include panel member, Peter Bannister, Healthcare Chair from the Institution of Engineering and Technology and one of our highly active public members of our Patient and Public Involvement programme, Jo Turnbull with Sohan Seth as our panel chair who is Lead Data Scientist in the School of Informatics working on ACRC strand, Data-Driven Insight and Prediction. 

To engage our 70 strong audience in our discussion, the panel members posed questions related to their work. We were excited to see that for two questions regarding whether 1 in 3 people over 60 had 2 or more health conditions and whether less than 10% of drug trials reaching human clinical testing are approved, the audience chose an answer that aligned well with the panel. However, they were divided as to whether it is possible to decide how healthy the inhabitants of an area are given its news reporting, a focus of Dr Bea Alex’s Natural Language Processing work which stressed on the importance of audience participation as part of ACRC research. 

We followed on with 3 broad topics of discussion including inclusivity and ethics around using AI healthcare tools in the home and in clinical practice, how the public voice can be integrated into AI healthcare research and the part of social media in understanding over 60-year-olds having more than 2 health conditions. We then explored insightful questions from the audience around data use and ownership and how the public feel about the onset of AI technology in healthcare. 

We were genuinely overwhelmed with the connection made with the audience, the breadth of interesting questions asked, and the amazing opinions being given by the panel based on their lived experience and research expertise. It was truly inspiring to be part of the event that left all of us inspired to not only carry on our research and activities but to also make a continual effort in informing different audiences who may benefit from this.  

You can watch the panel session, here (opens an external streaming service).

Your Care, Your Future The Role and Perception of AI in healthcare - Scottish AI Summit 2023 - YouTube

Jo Turnbull said of the event:

Those of you who were at the conference, and indeed those who attended last year in Edinburgh, will have realised that I know virtually nothing about A1. I queried my invitation last year, and when I was asked back this year I decided it must be to add a little light relief to what is a very complicated, and to me quite scary, subject. My audience seemed to embrace my ignorance, they were very understanding and amazingly on the whole complimentary.

I was at the conference on both days and was impressed with the breadth of the Agenda, and the knowledge of my co-presenters. I did understand parts, especially the presentation by the schoolchildren. That they are the future is very reassuring. I was quite overwhelmed by some of the discussions and seem to have heard so much about ChatGP since that I feel almost an expert and have been explaining it (no doubt badly) to other senior members of the family!

In all, I enjoyed the conference but what it showed me more than anything is how quickly the world is moving. What would have seemed impossible 10, maybe even 5 years ago is how happening; so 10 years hence, who knows. I hope that AI will have been harnessed in a positive manner, but I’m still a little bit scared!

Graphic Designer Clare Mills, operating on behalf of the Scottish AI Summit, developed this infographic of the event - illustrating well a summary of the panel:

Infographic Summary of Panel at AI Summit