Articles  |  ,   |  September 1, 2018

Is It Ethical to Use Prognostic Estimates from Machine Learning to Treat Psychosis?

Article by Nicole Martinez-Martin, Laura B. Dunn, and Laura Weiss Roberts.
Published in AMA Journal of Ethics — Case and Commentary. The case to which this commentary is a response was developed by the editorial staff.


Machine learning is a method for predicting clinically relevant variables, such as opportunities for early intervention, potential treatment response, prognosis, and health outcomes. This commentary examines the following ethical questions about machine learning in a case of a patient with new onset psychosis:

  1. When is clinical innovation ethically acceptable?
  2. How should clinicians communicate with patients about the ethical issues raised by a machine learning predictive model?