Care for A New AI Lexicon

Wang, Xiaowei

"AI systems are more than the algorithms themselves. Behind these systems are a host of political and economic forces, as well as a complex mosaic of hidden labor. This essay explores the logic of care and the logic of cure that underlie the creation of AI and machine learning systems. In particular, I look at Software as A Medical Device (SaMD) — the use of AI within the healthcare industry, to understand entry points into intervention and advocacy on AI systems. The tensions between cure and care in the care industry are a reminder that tackling the inequity proliferated by AI systems is not just about changing Silicon Valley, but rethinking care and shifting broader, situated circuits of power across different scales and geographies. I argue that the AI and the software medical industry’s promises of cure replicate a technological solutionism, resulting in an inability to truly care for people."