Challenge on Health Futures

Microsoft Research (MSR) is exploring how best to ensure that AI in medicine is developed and used safely and ethically. Current challenges in the field call for a greater understanding of how ethical and social factors can inform risk-benefit analysis, particularly in situations where there is a genuine level of uncertainty over the safety and effectiveness of new AI technologies.

In this context, we ask applicants to respond to the following challenge:

How should ethical and social factors shape the implementation of medical AI in healthcare and what guidelines and standards should be followed?
(challenge-code MSR-C2)

We invite projects that

  • include practical case studies and explore the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medical AI; and
  • explore how societal and ethical expectations can translate into new policy recommendations for the future use of medical AI.

Additional Context

The Microsoft Health Futures team believes medicine, biology, and technology are rapidly converging. The future of health will be data-driven, predictive, and precise.

Microsoft Health Futures is focused on empowering every person on the planet to live a healthier future. To this end, we are responsible for research, incubations, and moonshots that drive cross-company strategy, partnerships, and real-world impact across healthcare and the life sciences. We are a global, inclusive, and diverse crew of researchers, scientists, engineers, biotechnologists, designers, social scientists, strategists, healthcare experts, and medical professionals.

The SciReg team within Health Futures is well placed to support a fellow for this research topic. We have a small and diverse team that combines clinical, legal, compliance and regulatory expertise where we routinely take theory towards practical policy and process recommendations.

The BRAID Fellow will be directly supported by the Senior Compliance Manager in our Health Futures group who has a strong regulatory, compliance and policy background across medical devices, responsible AI and data governance.

We welcome proposals that:

  • are ideally based on expertise that complements the skill set of our team, drawing on policy expertise from the arts and humanities in areas like philosophy and ethics. Interdisciplinary backgrounds in the social sciences and health are welcomed. Please note that for this challenge, the fellow would also benefit from having direct policy making or regulatory experience e.g., MHRA, ICO, HRA, HDRUK or academic health policy;
  • can ground theory into a real-world moonshot to create much needed clarity in this highly regulated space; and
  • benefit from a flexible and collaborative approach.

Working Arrangements

How it will work

  • If the application is successful, MSR will work with the fellow to refine the project plan, agreeing on shared goals and outcomes as well as a timeline for shared collaboration milestones and a cadence for meetings virtually and in-person, as appropriate.
  • MSR will support the fellow in terms of onboarding and providing an MSR research contact and engaging in regular meetings.
  • MSR is set up for hybrid working but a level of in-person contact at our lab in Cambridge, UK would be beneficial, especially towards the start of the project.
  • We expect the fellow to factor into their budget proposal travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and any specific research costs they envision.
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