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AI Consent Futures: A Case Study on Voice Data Collection with Clinicians

Lauren Wilcox
Robin Brewer
Fernando Diaz
ACM CSCW (2023) (to appear)


As new forms of data capture emerge to power new AI applications, questions abound about the ethical implications of these data collection practices. In this paper, we present clinicians' perspectives on the prospective benefits and harms of voice data collection during health consultations. Such data collection is being proposed as a means to power models to assist clinicians with medical data entry, administrative tasks, and consultation analysis. Yet, clinicians' attitudes and concerns are largely absent from the AI narratives surrounding these use cases, and the academic literature investigating them. Our qualitative interview study used the concept of an informed consent process as a type of design fiction, to support elicitation of clinicians' perspectives on voice data collection and use associated with a fictional, near-term AI assistant. Through reflexive thematic analysis of in-depth sessions with physicians, we distilled eight classes of potential risks that clinicians are concerned about, including workflow disruptions, self-censorship, and errors that could impact patient eligibility for services. We conclude with an in-depth discussion of these prospective risks, reflect on the use of the speculative processes that illuminated them, and reconsider evaluation criteria for AI-assisted clinical documentation technologies in light of our findings.