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作者: 来源: 日期:2016/12/28 8:37:30

DeepMind’s data deals raise some serious questions





This is the story of two deals and the future of healthcare in the UK. The first was made in September 2015, under which three UK hospitals in the Royal Free NHS Trust handed the identifiable patient records of more than 2m Londoners to DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company wholly owned by Google.

这是一个关于两笔交易以及英国医疗卫生事业未来的故事。第一笔交易完成于20159月,根据这项交易,三家隶属英国皇家自由NHS信托基金会(Royal Free NHS Trust)的医院将超过200万名伦敦市民的可识别个人身份的病历交给了DeepMind,谷歌(Google)全资拥有的一家人工智能公司。广州医疗翻译公司。


With the company riding high on breakthroughs in the fields of game play and image recognition, DeepMind Health was launched in February. Strangely for an AI company with no healthcare experience, DeepMind Health’s inaugural project claimed it had nothing to do with AI. Rather, it involved developing Streams, a mobile app, to integrate data and co-ordinate push alerts concerning acute kidney injury, a serious condition affecting up to one in six National Health Service patients.

随着DeepMind在游戏竞技以及图像识别领域不断取得重大突破,DeepMind Health在今年2月应运而生。而对一家没有医疗经验的人工智能公司来说颇为奇怪的是,DeepMind Health的首个项目号称与人工智能没有任何关系。相反,该项目涉及开发一款名为Streams的移动应用,用于有关急性肾脏损伤的整合数据以及协调推送通知。在英国国家医疗服务体系(NHS)的病人中,存在这一严重病情的病人比例高达六分之一。


In April, an investigation by New Scientist revealed the scale of DeepMind’s data hoard — a five-year superset, covering almost every patient passing through Royal Free — as well as the commercial terms: essentially, that there were none. The claimed basis for sharing the data was implied consent for direct clinical care for kidney injury. The problem is that the data set extended well beyond those who will be monitored or treated for this condition: it extended hospital-wide, raising issues about proper compliance with data protection, privacy and medical confidentiality rules. Perhaps even more importantly, engaging with citizens about the deal and exploring the desirability of open, competitive, forward-looking service procurement beyond Google, seemed not to enter consideration.

今年4月,由《新科学家》(New Scientist)进行的一项调查揭示了DeepMind海量数据的规模——这是一个时间跨度长达5年的超大集合,涵盖了皇家自由基金会系统内的几乎所有病人——调查还揭示了这些数据的商业条款:基本上没有任何商业条款。这一数据共享的公开依据是对肾脏损伤进行直接临床救治的默示同意。问题在于,数据集的覆盖面远远超过了因这一病症而被监测或治疗的群体:数据延伸至整个医院,由此引出了有关如何恰当遵守数据保护、隐私以及医疗保密等方面规定的问题。或许更重要的是,与市民接触、交流对于此项交易的看法,以及在谷歌之外探索公开、竞争性、前瞻的服务采购的可取程度,似乎并未被纳入考虑范围。广州医疗翻译公司。


The second deal was rather more proactive. Last month, perhaps in anticipation of regulatory action after a year of silence (the first deal is the subject of an investigation by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office and a review by the National Data Guardian, plus DeepMind’s self-styled “independent reviewers”), a five-year agreement was signed.

第二项交易更加主动积极。上月,或许是预见到了在一年的沉寂之后将有监管举措出台(第一笔交易受到了英国信息专员办公室(UK Information Commissioners Office)的调查以及“国家健康和医疗数据守护者”(National Data Guardian)的评估,DeepMind自诩的“独立评估方”也参与了评估),双方进一步签署了一项为期五年的合作协议。


This accord contains a remarkable pivot. After a year of structuring the whole Trust-wide data set, DeepMind has developed a software interface that allows multiple conditions to be monitored and provides a platform for an “open innovation ecosystem”. Open, that is, except that the platform is strictly owned and controlled by DeepMind under a time-bound licence that prevents the Royal Free hospital working directly with any other provider. DeepMind, for its part, wishes to enable a community of innovators to develop niche applications over the top of data acquired through the first deal.



Many of DeepMind’s aspirations are laudable, particularly its promises to bring cutting-edge provenance, transparency and audit to data flows. However, it is critical that this company’s dealmaking does not involve special treatment, particularly given it can only do much of what it does because of the money and power of Google, its patron, which has long coveted the healthcare market. Until now, DeepMind’s deals have attracted no comment from those with oversight of sensitive data processing, despite clear questions about both the direct care justification for processing and where the control of data-processing lies.



These deals matter as a litmus test of our institutions and our instincts, and whether we can advance technologically without evading due process and hard-earned rights. The primary limits to promising advances in machine learning are access to data and computing power. The Royal Free deals do a civic disservice if they undervalue publicly funded data sets, while failing to consider the long-term consequences of giving advance access to powerful private prospectors. DeepMind may be a worthy partner but it must prove itself as such so that the future of healthcare is genuinely competitive, open, fair and in the public interest.



The writer is a researcher in law and technology at the University of Cambridge

本文作者是剑桥大学(University of Cambridge)法律与科技研究员