In New Paper, Faculty Members Argue AI Is No Substitute for Empathy in Health Care

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

DAILY CALIFORNIAN (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY) -- In a paper published May 26, Jodi Halpern, professor of bioethics and medical humanities at UC Berkeley and UCSF, argued that artificial intelligence, or AI, is not a substitute for human empathy in health care.

Halpern wrote the paper with authors Carlos Montemayor and Abrol Fairweather from San Francisco State University. In the paper, they claim that simulating empathy with AI is both impossible and immoral — impossible because AI cannot experience emotion and immoral because patients deserve human empathy during times of distress.