Biden warns AI could ‘surpass human thinking’ – and more health news this week

"Some are very worried that AI may actually surpass human thinking and planning," President Biden said during an opening speech Thursday.

“Some are very worried that AI could actually overtake human thinking and planning,” President Biden said during an opening speech on Thursday.

From racial bias in medicine to more accessible drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, here are the health stories you might have missed this week from Yahoo News partners.

Biden warns AI could ‘surpass human thinking’

During a keynote address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday, President Biden said he had been warned by experts that artificial intelligence could “surpass human thought.” USA Today reported that it was the president’s “most direct warning yet” about the power of AI technology.

“These won’t be easy decisions, guys,” Biden said. “I met eight leading AI scientists in the Oval Office. Some are very worried that AI may actually surpass human thinking and planning. So we have a lot to do. An incredible opportunity , but a lot [to] deal with.”

The president’s remarks come days after hundreds of AI leaders, along with other public figures, issued a statement saying “mitigating the risk of AI extinction should be a global priority. alongside other society-wide risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Last month, Biden met with the CEOs of AI innovation companies, including Google, Microsoft and OpenAI, in an effort to ensure the safety of AI products before they are released to the public.

An african-american technician in blue gloves holds an x-ray of a human chest.

Following a commonly used algorithm, a study finds that lung problems are often misdiagnosed in black men. (Getty Images)

Lung problems in black men are underdiagnosed due to racial bias in testing, study finds

A study published Thursday claims that 40% more black male patients would be diagnosed with respiratory problems such as “asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or lung scarring due to exposure to air pollutants” if the software current diagnostic aid computer was modified to eliminate racial bias. , reported the Associated Press.

Based on data from more than 2,700 black men and 5,700 white men tested by the University of Pennsylvania Health System, researchers examined a commonly used test with a computer-generated report that assesses the ability to a person to breathe based on how much and how quickly they can inhale and exhale. The report is created by algorithms that adjust for race, which “increases the threshold for diagnosing a problem in black patients,” the Associated Press said. By comparing the race-based algorithm with a new algorithm, the researchers found that there would be nearly 400 additional cases of lung obstruction or impairment in diagnosed black males if the new algorithm was used.

The American Thoracic Society, which represents physicians in lung care, has recommended race and ethnicity no longer be a factor in interpreting test results, but also called for more research to avoid any changes. which could lead to overdiagnosis of lung problems.

A young woman in a ponytail walks with one arm around an older woman.

“Alzheimer’s disease wreaks havoc not only on those with the disease, but also on their loved ones and caregivers, in a way that almost no other disease does,” said CMS administrator Chiquita. Brooks-LaSure. (Getty Images)

Medicare plans to pay for Alzheimer’s drugs that gain FDA approval

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will now pay for new Alzheimer’s drugs that have received full Food and Drug Administration approval, the agency said Thursday, on the condition that doctors who prescribe the drugs use a government registry to track patient progress. and assess “how these drugs work in the real world.”

NBC News reported that until now, Medicare has only paid for drugs if patients are enrolled in a clinical trial. This new development should allow a greater number of patients to afford drugs that can slow the progression of the disease.

“Alzheimer’s disease wreaks havoc not only on those with the disease, but also on their loved ones and caregivers, in a way that almost no other disease does,” said CMS administrator Chiquita. Brooks-LaSure. “CMS has always been committed to helping people gain early access to innovative treatments that significantly improve care and outcomes for this disease.”

Hospitals reported the highest level of pediatric brain infections in years last winter.  (Getty Images)

Hospitals reported the highest level of pediatric brain infections in years last winter. (Getty Images)

Winter saw spike in rare pediatric brain infections, CDC reports

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this week found that, although still very rare, hospitals reported the highest level of pediatric brain infections in years last winter.

CBS News reported that the CDC began looking into a potential increase in “pediatric intracranial infections” after doctors reported an increase in hospitalizations, with many children infected with the bacteria Streptococcus. Most strep infections lead to mild illnesses like strep throat, but on rare occasions they can progress to worrying symptoms, “like seizures and mental status changes.”

Last winter, there were 102 cases in December, surpassing the previous peak of 61 cases in the 2016-2017 winter season.

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