Exploring Generative AI in Social Care

Exploring Generative AI in Social Care

Generative AI and social care  

Digital Care Hub’s Katie Thorn & Daniel Casson were speaking to attendees at UK Care Week about how Generative AI has been impacting the care sector over the past year and how it can be used responsibly in care settings. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the intelligence demonstrated by a machine which can learn and make decisions for itself. AI works by processing data provided to it by people. It uses algorithms and models to identify different patterns and feedback to continuously update its knowledge.  

Generative AI is a subset of AI that focuses on generating new content such as images or text. 

Can Generative AI be used in social care? 

Generative AI uses its knowledge and prediction models to create new data that follows learned patterns. 

Katie & Daniel explored some of the common ways in which Generative AI is currently being used in care settings. They discussed how chat bots can be used to automate administrative tasks such as responding to enquiries, developing policies, or support with ideas for resident activities. 

What are the benefits of Generative AI? 

There are benefits of using generative AI in the workplace. It can create new content at speed which helps to improve efficiency.  It can support staff with administrative burdens and ultimately free up time for people to focus on providing care.  

But as with any new technology, there are risks.  

The risks of Generative AI 

AI isn’t a perfect science. There are often risks where there are rewards and the same is true here.  

Katie & Daniel explored some of the common risks associated with using Generative AI in social care. For example, the data AI is using to generate content isn’t always accurate. It can present biases that negatively impact the content it produces so it’s important that anything it produces is checked by a human. 

There are also the data security risks associated with uploading vast amounts of sensitive personal data to potentially open servers. There is no way of determining where the data is held or who holds it, so you should never enter personal or sensitive information into free Generative AI systems. 

How can we use generative AI safely? 

The Institute of Ethics in AI, Oxford University, Casson Consulting and Digital Care Hub held a roundtable event back in February to discuss the responsible use of Generative AI in social care. This was the first of an ongoing series on the subject with more to come.  

The roundtable discussed the various benefits and risks to using Generative AI in social care, and produced the ‘Oxford Statement on the responsible use of generative AI in Adult Social Care’. The statement commits to an ongoing programme of work over the next 6 months.  

If you’d like to find out more about the roundtable event and endorse the statement on the responsible use of Generative AI, visit this link. 

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