Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to benefit healthcare through a variety of applications including predictive care, treatment recommendations, identification of pathogens and disease patterns as well as the identification of vulnerable groups.

With access to increasingly complex data sets and the rise of sophisticated pattern detection, AI could offer new means to anticipate and mitigate pandemics. However, the risks associated with AI such as bias, infringement on privacy and limited accountability become amplified under the pressurized lens of a global health crisis.

Emergency measures often neglect standard checks and balances due to time-constraints. Whether temporary or permanent, AI applications during the epidemic have the potential to mark a watershed moment in human history and normalize the deployment of those tools with little public debate.

This webinar discusses the nature of beneficial tech while also identifying issues that arise out of fast-tracking AI solutions during emergencies and pandemics. Can emerging tech help detect and fight viruses? Should surveillance tech be widely accepted and rolled out during times of a global health emergency? And how can policymakers act to ensure the responsible use of data without hindering AI’s full potential?

This webinar is being run in collaboration with Chatham House’s Digital Society Initiative (DSI) and Centre for Universal Health. Our DSI brings together policy and technology communities to help forge a common understanding and jointly address the challenges that rapid advances in technology are causing domestic and international politics.

The Centre for Universal Health is a multi-disciplinary centre established to help accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 in particular SDG 3: ‘To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’.


David Aanensen, Director, The Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance
Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director, Stanford University Cyber Policy Center
Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development, NYU Govlab
Chair: Marjorie Buchser, Executive Director, Digital Society Initiative, Chatham House