Trust constitutes a fundamental strategy to deal with risks and uncertainty in complex societies. In line with the vast literature stressing the importance of trust in doctor-patient relationships, trust is therefore regularly suggested as a way of dealing with the risks of medical artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, this approach has come under charge from different angles. At least two lines of thought can be distinguished: (1) that trusting AI is conceptually confused, that is, that we cannot trust AI; and (2) that it is also dangerous, that is, that we should not trust AI-particularly if the stakes are as high as they routinely are in medicine. In this paper, we aim to defend a notion of trust in the context of medical AI against both charges. To do so, we highlight the technically mediated intentions manifest in AI systems, rendering trust a conceptually plausible stance for dealing with them. Based on literature from human-robot interactions, psychology and sociology, we then propose a novel model to analyse notions of trust, distinguishing between three aspects: reliability, competence, and intentions. We discuss each aspect and make suggestions regarding how medical AI may become worthy of our trust.
Keywords: artificial intelligence; healthcare; trust; trustworthiness.
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.