Use of artificial intelligence to monitor and improve health risks exacerbating ageism, according to a fascinating new policy brief from the World Health Organisation. It says encoding of stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination could undermine the quality of health care for older people. There is a risk that even of adequate data on older people are available it may not be sufficiently separated and broken down – partly because of a failure to recognise they differ significantly. This is because later life is stereotypically seen as “a homogenous life-stage”. And without a narrowing of the “digital divide” (lower participation of older people in the digital economy) “Older people may not be fully represented in the data sets used to train and validate AI algorithms, thereby rendering the technologies less specific for individual characteristics and needs”.

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